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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The influence of periodic increases of human activity on crepuscular and nocturnal mammals: Testing the weekend effect

Published by: Behavioural Processes

1st January 2018

Researchers in the USA examined how weekend human activity affects wildlife. Over 6 months, they observed four different species. Whilst animals which are active in the day (diurnal) are often affected by increased human presence on weekends, nocturnal species like beavers and mountain lions did not respond to human activity. However, raccoons (nocturnal) and mule deer (active at dawn and dusk) adjusted their behaviour near campgrounds during the weekend. This suggests that the 'weekend effect' primarily affects diurnal animals. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Beavers, livestock, and riparian synergies: Bringing small mammals into the picture

Published by: U.S. Department of Agriculture

1st January 2018

This book chapter discusses the role that beavers play in healthy river ecosystems in the USA. Beavers support diverse predator communities and regulate plant growth. Ecology aside, the text also briefly describes the reasons why beavers were over-hunted in the USA: their fur was an important export to Europe in the 1800s. The chapter mentions the damage that livestock can do to riverside ecosystems and discusses restoration strategies.

Survey of Beaver-related Restoration Practices in Rangeland Streams of the Western USA

Published by: Environmental Management

1st January 2018

This study analysed almost 100 real-world beaver restoration projects in the western USA. It found most projects did not consider beaver genetics, disease, or human conflict; most did not undertake any post-release monitoring. Overall, the research on best practice for such projects is not being matched by projects in practice: the authors suggested that additional guidelines should be written up to help improve the situation.

Effects of beaver dams on the zooplankton assemblages in four temperate lowland streams (NW Poland)

Published by: Biologia

30th December 2017

Beaver ponds alter streams, creating more spots with still water rather than flowing water. This favours different species. This study looked at beaver dams' impact on tiny organisms called zooplankton in Polish streams. The dams led to more zooplankton which are often found in reservoirs - another still-water environment. The diversity of zooplankton also increased downstream of the dams.

Comparative Metagenomics of Cellulose- and Poplar Hydrolysate-Degrading Microcosms from Gut Microflora of the Canadian Beaver (Castor canadensis) and North American Moose (Alces americanus) after Long-Term Enrichment

Published by: Frontiers in Microbiology

20th December 2017

Researchers analysed the digestive systems of North American beavers and moose; the beaver was studied by taking poo samples. The study was looking for enzymes useful for digesting woody material and their associated gene. The study found over 9,000 related genes, with many differences in enzyme profiles between the two animals.

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