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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A geospatial analysis of ecosystem engineer activity and its use during species reintroduction

Published by: European Journal of Wildlife Research

2nd July 2018

In response to the Scottish Government announcing that Eurasian beavers would be allowed to stay in Scotland, this study aimed to understand how their activity might influence sensitive species and habitats in Scotland. It used a computer model to identify where beavers might build dams then looked for overlap with vulnerable habitats and species. The findings suggested that beaver activity could be extensive: overlapping little with areas of freshwater pearl mussel and Atlantic salmon but more with certain woodland habitats. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Scent-marking behavior by subordinate Eurasian beavers

Published by: Ethology

19th June 2018

Scent-marking is common in mammals. In Norway, researchers studied scent-marking in subordinate (young) Eurasian beavers. Experiments showed subordinates contributed to territorial marking, but their role was minor. However, their involvement increased as their parents got older, perhaps as they get closer to inheriting the territory. Experience in territorial activities probably helps subordinates secure their own territory, too.

The effect of beaver facilitation on Common Teal: pairs and broods respond differently at the patch and landscape scales

Published by: Ibis

8th June 2018

Beaver wetlands are used by birds during different stages of their life. Scientists studied how Common Teal ducks in Finland at different stages of their reproductive life used beaver ponds. The positive results suggest beavers could help create and restore habitats for waterfowl.

Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter

Published by: Chelsea Green Publishing

1st June 2018

In this award-winning book, the author describes the various benefits which beavers can bring to ecosystems. Building on the metaphor of beavers as "ecological and hydrological Swiss Army knives," the book talks about how beavers relate to salmon, agriculture, water quality, and other issues. This accessible book includes anecdotes from around the USA and aims to grow support for beaver restoration. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Tundra be dammed: Beaver colonization of the Arctic

Published by: Global Change Biology

30th May 2018

Rising temperatures are altering the Arctic tundra, with thawing permafrost and shrinking snow cover. This study revelas how North American beavers are expanding into the tundra of northwest Alaska, USA. Beaver ponds are thawing permafrost, exacerbating climate change, but are likely also creating new, diverse habitats. The full impact remains unclear but it is very possible that beavers' arrival will contribute to the disruption of the tundra ecosystem. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

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