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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Selective Foraging on Tree and Shrub Species by the European Beaver Castor fiber in Lowland and Highland Habitats in Western Poland

Published by: Polish Journal of Ecology

1st September 2018

In this article, scientists write about the finding that Eurasian beavers' food choices in Poland are influenced by their habitat and the availability of different tree species. In lowlands, they preferred willow and poplar species. In the highlands, they favoured hazel and rowan due to limited willow and poplar availability. Beavers in highlands also had to travel further for food and ended up cutting larger trees.

Methods to Predict Beaver Dam Occurrence in Coastal Oregon

Published by: Northwest Science

1st September 2018

This study assessed a river basin in coastal Oregon, USA, for sites which may be suitable beaver habitats. The aim was to inform river restoration efforts and increase habitat for local salmon. The study tested a computer model, finding some helpful results, but the authors also noted that the model didn't fully capture all aspects that influence whether a beaver will likely settle down in a specific area.

The importance of spatial scale in habitat selection by European beaver

Published by: Ecography

18th August 2018

Researchers studied the habitat preferences of Eurasian beavers in northern Poland. Beavers favoured areas with plenty of woody plants and avoided human-modified habitats such as agricultural land. They also seemed to plonk their homes right in the middle of areas with especially high concentrations of woody plants. Lots of different factors are shown to come into play when beavers choose where to build their lodges.

Beavers affect carbon biogeochemistry: both short-term and long-term processes are involved

Published by: Mammal Review

26th July 2018

The rise in beaver populations globally has led to the creation of new wetland habitats. This paper summarises how this impacts on the carbon cycle and, potentially, climate change. Beaver ponds can increase carbon storage and increase greenhouse gas emissions and, at the moment, it's impossible to say what the net effect is. Wetland ecosystems change constantly so a lot more research is needed to understand the full impact. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

The loss of large wood affects rocky mountain trout populations

Published by: Ecology of Freshwater Fish

15th July 2018

In the USA, there is less large wood in rivers than there used to be. This is due to beaver trapping and logging, amongst other things. Reduced large wood has led to a loss of habitat complexity, including pool habitats that support larger trout populations. Recovery from such habitat loss may takes decades or centuries.

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