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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Mitigating infrastructure loss from beaver flooding: A cost–benefit analysis

Published by: Human Dimensions of Wildlife

8th December 2017

In Alberta, Canada, flow devices were used to prevent flooding by beavers (a pipe which allows water to drain through the dam). Traditional methods of managing such flooding may have included killing the beavers. The costs and benefits of these options - over a period of three years and at a province-wide scale - are presented in this study, finding that the flow device was cost-effective in comparison to traditional management methods.

Age-related changes in somatic condition and reproduction in the Eurasian beaver: Resource history influences onset of reproductive senescence

Published by: PLoS One

5th December 2017

Researchers examined how food availability affects the reproductive behavior and physical condition of wild Eurasian beavers over their lifetimes. Drawing on 15 years of data, they found that beavers never stop putting on weight, but that this slows down with age. Rainier years negatively impacted reproduction for all ages of beaver. Beavers living in territories with less food experienced reproductive decline (were less likely to reproduce) more quickly than those in good territories. The text describes other dynamics connecting food availability, ageing and reproduction.

Extra-territorial movements differ between territory holders and subordinates in a large, monogamous rodent

Published by: Scientific Reports

10th November 2017

Researchers tracked beavers' movements to understand which beavers went outside their territories on 'forays,' and how often. Both breeding and non-breeding beavers conduct forays, spending up to 11% of their active time on these trips. Forays were energetically costly, suggesting they might help assess resources or potential mates. Non-breeding beavers conducted more forays, possibly to gather information before leaving home.

Meta-analysis of environmental effects of beaver in relation to artificial dams

Published by: Environmental Research Letters

8th November 2017

This study brought together over 150 studies to compare beaver dams to artificial dams - specifically considering their impacts on biodiversity, hydrology, and biochemistry. Overall, beaver dams positively impact aquatic environments, with many effects varying by pond age. Some of these effects were similar to those of artifical dams, but some were not - for example, artifical dams may lead to greater nutrient retention in the pond.

Agonistic behavior between introduced beaver (Castor canadensis) and endemic culpeo fox (Pseudalopex culpaeus lycoides) in Tierra del Fuego Island and implications

Published by: Acta Ethologica

3rd November 2017

Introduced beavers have thrived in southern Patagonia due to habitat availability and absence of predators. This article demonstrates for the first time that Culpeo foxes, an endangered native species in this area, prey on beavers under natural conditions. The event was caught on video and analysed for this article. This interaction suggests foxes may help control beaver populations in this area.

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