SCOTLAND'S BURGEONING beaver population is currently under inspection, via a NatureScot survey, being conducted by Exeter University, to gather detailed, up-to-date information on the location and number of active beaver territories, as well as assess the health of the newly returned species.

The survey has already found plenty of evidence of beaver activity on the River Tay, including right into the centre of the City of Perth. A number of fresh field signs have turned up on Moncreiffe Island in the river, while along at the North Inch, there are also obvious signs of beaver presence, making Perth the first city in UK to have resident urban beavers.

Survey work continues with key areas still to be surveyed including parts of the Trossachs area, River Forth and Teith, part of lower River Tay, South Esk, and some minor burn and ditch systems within Tayside.

Professor Richard Brazier, project lead from the University of Exeter, said: "The survey work is important because it enables us to understand, with an objective approach, how beaver territories have changed, where beaver are living and what impacts, both positive and negative, beavers are having on our ecosystems. When we compare the results with those of the previous survey that we ran three years ago, we are also able to look at the impact of beaver management on beaver numbers and territories, to learn lessons and improve our approaches to beaver management in the future."

The public can contribute to this survey by reporting sightings of beavers and their field signs using the Mammal Society’s Mammal Mapper app, available for both iPhone and Android, or online