SCOTLAND is likely to see greater number of beavers roaming throughout the country following a successful pilot scheme to reintroduce the species.

The animal was hunted to extinction around 400 years ago and had been regarded as a missing element of the countryside.

However, with the Scottish Beaver Trial, launched in May 2009, a handful of Norwegian beavers were re-introduced to the Knapdale Forest, Lochgilphead.

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The program is due to expire in the next few months but campaigners hope the ecological and commercial benefits will lead to an extension.

Projet manager Simon Jones said: "Where you get beavers, you get biodiversity. The consequences are good for wildlife."