Science database


We have gathered decades of scientific research from Great Britain, continental Europe and North America to share with people interested in diving deeper into the world of beavers.

This list of resources is being constantly amended and updated.

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Showing 525 articles

Hydrological functioning of a beaver dam sequence and regional dam persistence during an extreme rainstorm

Published by: Hydrological Processes

23rd May 2020

After a record flood in the Canadian Rocky Mountains in 2013, scientists examined how beaver dams had fared. The aim was to bring evidence to the ongoing debate around whether beaver dams fail during extreme weather events (with the subsequent risk that such failures could make flood situations worse rather than better). The results showed that most beaver dams did not fail. Even those that did fail still stored significant amounts of water, delaying floodwaters downstream. This finding supports the potential importance of beavers in climate adaptation. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Local knowledge about a newly reintroduced, rapidly spreading species (Eurasian beaver) and perception of its impact on ecosystem services

Published by: PLoS One

21st May 2020

Researchers conducted interviews with local people living alongside beavers in Hungary and Romania. Interviewees had detailed understandings of beavers' impacts on ecosystem services and livelihoods. Many people recognised both beavers' negative effects whilst also appreciating beavers' building skills and charming nature. The researchers said better communication - including two-way learning - between conservationists and locals will be crucial to managing human-beaver conflicts.

Modelling Eurasian beaver foraging habitat and dam suitability, for predicting the location and number of dams throughout catchments in Great Britain

Published by: European Journal of Wildlife Research

7th May 2020

In this study, computer models were developed to predict where beavers would likely settle down in Britain. The model took into account where they could find the plants they need and where the rivers would be appropriate for building dams. The model was tested on two sites in the southwest of England and one in Scotland. The model was deemed successful and could be useful for informing reintroduction efforts.

Relationships between survival and habitat suitability of semi-aquatic mammals

Published by: Ecology and Evolution

12th April 2020

In this paper, researchers tested different ecological theories by predicted how habitat influences beaver survival. It used the case of the North American beaver in Alabama, USA. The results did not align with any of the theories, which suggests that beaver survival is much more complicated than being based on habitat alone.

The Reintroduction of Beavers to Scotland: Rewilding, Biopolitics, and the Affordance of Non-human Autonomy

Published by: Conservation and Society

1st April 2020

One key element of rewilding is the fact that it gives autonomy to non-humans in how ecosystems evolve. However, there's limited research on how this autonomy operates in practice. This study explores how beaver reintroduction in Scotland in both the Tay catchment (unlicensed) and at Knapdale (licensed) shows different types of non-human autonomy. It discusses governance and power dynamics in rewilding efforts.

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