400 years after they were wiped out by hunting in the country, beavers are making a comeback in Scotland, thanks to a team of ecologists running a plan they've called an "outstanding success." The team reintroduced four pairs of beavers five years ago, which have together produced 14 offspring so far.
Simon Jones, project manager of the Scottish Beaver Trial, told the Guardian:
In terms of asking 'can beavers live in the wild in Scotland and can they breed' then the answer is yes. We're extremely happy about how the trial has gone but now it's for the government to decide whether we want to have a wider beaver population in Scotland.
Now, the new residents are transforming the land, building dams, felling trees and creating waterways. Considered a "keystone species" beavers are ecologically important and create habitats for several other species in an ecosystem.
Seeing the success of Scotland's reintroduction, other countries -- notably southern England and Wales -- are considering proposals for their own projects to bring back the beavers.