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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Leptin/leptin receptor system in the regulation of reproductive functions and stress response in the European beaver

Published by: Current Zoology

1st April 2019

The authors of this study noted that relatively little research had gone into beaver physiology in comparison to beavers' ecological impacts. This study focused on how the production of a hormone called lectin changes in different seasons and sexes of the Eurasian beaver. The hormone receptor was found in all 34 beavers tested, but some glands varied their production of the hormone with the seasons. The authors suggest that leptin plays a role in the regulation of beavers' reproductive cycles.

Pair movement of a monogamous mammal, the Eurasian beaver

Published by: University of South-Eastern Norway

21st March 2019

This study examined how Eurasian beaver couples use the space in their shared territory. It found that their territories overlap but that each partner moves independently, often with large distances of around 500m between them. Beavers are closest at the start and end of their active periods (at the start and end of the night). Moving independently of each other may help avoid predation.

Occupancy dynamics of semi-aquatic herbivores in riparian systems in Illinois, USA

Published by: Ecosphere

6th March 2019

Scientists in the USA studied how landscape and habitat characteristics influence the presence of semi-aquatic mammals such as beavers and muskrats. They found that occupation by beavers was affected by stream size, stream density, and the proportion of land covered by forest. The muskrat also depended on forest cover, but also was influenced by how deep the stream channel was and the habitat's soil chemistry.

Low-Tech Process-Based Restoration of Riverscapes: Design Manual. Version 1.0

Published by: Utah State University Restoration Consortium

1st March 2019

This manual offers ecosystem restoration practitioners guidance on implementing low-tech tools like beaver dam analogues. These tools can kickstart restoration in riverscapes, saying that the lack of beaver dams is one of the 'most common impairments affecting riverside health.' The book emphasises mimicking natural processes with simple, cost-effective interventions and letting the ecosystem's natural engineers, like beavers, do the rest. The book suggests that this cheaper approach may work better and also enable restoration work to be done at the huge scale required.

Beavers alter stream macroinvertebrate communities in north‐eastern Utah

Published by: Freshwater Biology

1st March 2019

A fair amount of research has shown that, by building dams, beavers change the balance of invertebrate species in the immediate area. This study tested this hypothesis in an area of the USA where this hadn't been tested and found similar impacts. Overall, fewer (and different) species were found around beaver dams rather than in free-flowing reaches of streams.

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