Where to see them: At this moment, for their own safety, the area is not readily accessible.
Yes, there ARE beavers in West Dunbartonshire.
The area in question is the Endrick Water which flows into Loch Lomond near Gartocharn. West Dunabrtonshire's boundary meanders a bit acoss the river which it shares with Stirling.
RSPB Scotland announced in early 2023 that they have successfully translocated a family group of seven beavers to the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve. This is only the third location in Scotland where a beaver translocation has taken place since the reintroduction trial at Knapdale in 2009.
The pair of beavers and their five young offspring (two yearlings and three kits) were moved from an area in Tayside as part of plans to speed up the return of beavers to the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve, which is jointly managed by RSPB Scotland, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority and NatureScot.
It is anticipated that the beavers which are “nature’s engineers” will create and enhance habitats and boost biodiversity in the reserve helping to address both the climate and nature emergencies at their new home on the floodplain of the River Endrick.
Both the beavers and habitat, on the RSPB Scotland nature reserve, will now be closely monitored by local staff to see how they settle in and begin to modify the wetland. This includes remote monitoring of water levels, using camera traps to directly monitor beavers and mapping field signs of beaver activity.
The move has been controvercial. While many welcome their reintroduction to return this area to its historical habitat, others, including many fishermen have been nervous about the move citing dangers to spawning fish when the beavers alter the river environment and disturb the water condition. Not only will they build barriers across the flow, but banks are likely to collapse when trees are felled by them. This started almost immediately on their release, but proponents for their release expect the situation to stablise.
Being grazing animals, the beavers present no other threats to the fish. On the other hand they were threatened when an otter killed 2 of the kits soon of their release.
OK, this is a stuffed one in Kelvingrove Museum. But you can get up close to it without being nibbled.