The Scottish Beaver Trial Team do some Beaver Match-Making in Knapdale!
September 29, 2010 § Leave a comment
There has been a spot of match-making taking place over in Knapdale this week as the Scottish Beaver Trial team released a young male beaver in the hope that he will pair up with one of the resident females! This means that there are now 12 wild beavers resident in Scotland, including the two kits that were born earlier this year!
The Scottish Beaver Trial is a partnership project between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and host partner Forestry Commission Scotland and is a five year trial reintroduction of beavers into Knapdale forest in Mid-Argyll. The project aims to determine how beavers will adapt and what the effects of such a reintroduction would be on all aspects of the local environment.
This new male was originally captured in Norway by colleagues at Telemark University College, he then underwent quarantine and in-depth health checks to ensure he was healthy and fit for release before being transported from Edinburgh Zoo to the release site. Before the release took place the area surrounding the female’s home was marked with the new male’s scent to try to generate the female’s interest in her potential new mate. The male was released straight from his transportation crate on to the loch and the SBT team are going to be monitoring him closely to keep an eye on his movements, how he adapts to his new environment and of course to see how the potential love match works out!
This new male was released to replace the female’s previous partner who died earlier this year, permission was granted by the Scottish Government which allowed the replacement male to be released.
Present at the release was SBT’s Project Leader, Roisin Campbell-Palmer, who said: “This male is at an age where he would naturally disperse from his family group in search of a breeding partner so we are really hopeful that this arranged introduction will be the start of a very happy relationship.
“Over the next few weeks we would hope that there will be clear signs of acceptance as the pair get to know each other. Although breeding won’t take place this year, we hope they will build a lodge together which would be a good sign that they intend to remain together and potentially breed.”
Simon Jones, SBT Project Manager said: “With the recent news that two of our beaver pairs have bred, we have high hopes that this new pairing will settle in, get on well and add to the beaver population in Knapdale, but we have no guarantees that the relationship will be smooth sailing.
“Introducing a new beaver to another beaver’s established territory, even if it is that of one single female, could cause some disputes. We hope, possibly after some tail slapping and signs of natural caution, our female will follow her breeding instincts and pair with the suitable male.
“We have already seen changes that the existing beavers have made on the forest and lochs of the area and by establishing a further breeding beaver pair we hope to see a true measure of their impact in coming years.”
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on how the pair gets on and if you would like more information on the project then visit www.scottishbeavers.org.uk !