Science database

KNOWLEDGE BASE

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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Hydraulic Modeling of Beaver Dams and Evaluation of Their Impacts on Flood Events

Published by: Water

19th January 2020

The impact of beaver dams on habitats and water quality is widely acknowledged, but their role in flood control had been under debate. This study entered that debate by using a computer model to assess how beaver dams impact on flooding in Germany. The results suggested that, while dams did influence the flow of water, they didn't significantly reduce flood peaks for larger floods. The authors conclude that beaver dams are not effective flood mitigation measures.

River Otter Beaver Trial: Science and Evidence Report

Published by: University of Exeter

1st January 2020

This report summarised the evidence gathered as part of the 5-year trial which monitored wild beavers introduced to the River Otter in England. It presented a variety of evidence, including that public support for beavers was high at the beginning but had increased by the end of the trial. Some impacts on local agriculture was recorded, such as grazing on windfall apples, damaging apple trees, and eating maize. The report identifies that those who benefit from beavers' presence may not be the same people who bear the costs.

Heterogeneity in the allocation of reintroduction efforts among terrestrial mammals in Europe

Published by: Biological Conservation

1st January 2020

Species reintroduction can be great for biodiversity, but it has been criticised for focussing on only a few species. This paper analysed all reintroduction programs that have occurred in Europe since 1910. They found that 68% of these programmes involved only beavers, Alpine ibex, and European bison. Beavers alone accounted for almost one-third of reintroduction programs. It is possible that research and reintroduction efforts are biased towards seemingly 'charismatic' species.

Beavers Buffering Blazes: The Potential Role of Castor canadensis in Mitigating Wildfire Impacts on Stream Ecosystems

Published by: University of Puget Sound

1st January 2020

This study explored how beavers influence how ecosystems recover from wildfire. By studying burned and unburned sites in the USA - some with and some without beavers - researchers found that areas below beaver dams in burned sites had better water quality than sites without beavers. Despite there having been little research conducted on this subject, these results suggested that beavers could be helpful in adapting to the climate crisis, which will bring with it more wildfires in this area.

Effect of seasonal diet composition changes on the characteristics of the gastrointestinal tract contents of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber)

Published by: Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences

27th December 2019

With this study, scientists aimed to better understand beavers' digestive system. Since beavers' diets change with the seasons, they killed and studied 12 male beavers in each of winter, summer, and autumn to understand how certain characteristics of the digestive system also change with the seasons. The scientists measured different features including acidity, oxygen levels, and the size of food particles, finding that many of these did vary with the season.

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