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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Linking beaver dam affected flow dynamics to upstream passage of Arctic grayling

Published by: Ecology and Evolution

4th December 2018

This study examined how beaver dams affect the movement of Arctic grayling fish in the USA by monitoring the fish in real life. Fish had an 88% chance of making it past any given beaver dam, although at some specific dams the probability fell to 50%. They found that, in drier conditions, fish found it harder to get past dams. The results of this study could help inform management decisions: for example, when to breach a beaver dam to help fish get by.

Whose nature? What solutions? Linking Ecohydrology to Nature-based solutions

Published by: Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology

1st December 2018

The concept of "nature-based solutions" (NbS) is gaining popularity. However, it is battling with its own eurocentricity and there is confusion about its benefits for sustainability. This paper compares the varying definitions by groups like IUCN and the European Commission, and tries to create a common set of NbS principles. The paper cites the beaver trials in both England and Scotland as examples of NbS in action. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Trophic rewilding: impact on ecosystems under global change

Published by: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

22nd October 2018

This text describes some of the key aspects of rewilding, from impacts on biodiversity to those on climate change, as well as a number of practical topics. Beavers are mentioned as a common feature of rewilding projects - often reintroduced for their biodiversity benefits at multiple scales.

Rewilding wetlands: beaver as agents of within-habitat heterogeneity and the responses of contrasting biota

Published by: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

22nd October 2018

Ecosystem engineers, like beavers, shape the habitats around them but this study shows that they contribute to biodiversity in more ways than just the type of habitat they create. By comparing active beaver ponds with other wetlands in Sweden, researchers found that beaver ponds supported more plants and more beetles. The plants were from more diverse species, too. As the researchers say: "while anyone can make a pond there is only one way to make a beaver pond."

Measuring rewilding progress

Published by: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

22nd October 2018

Rewilding aims to restore ecosystems and biodiversity while reconnecting people with nature. This paper proposes a new method for measuring the success of rewilding projects. They apply the method to three projects, including one in the Netherlands where beavers were reintroduced. According to this method, that specific project had been moving in the right direction!

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