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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Indirect effects of an ecosystem engineer: how the Canadian beaver can drive the reproduction of saproxylic beetles

Published by: Journal of Zoology

18th September 2017

This study explored how beavers in Canada influence a type of beetle which lives in dead wood. The results showed that beaver-modified areas had more beetle activity and reproduction. These beetles build holes in woods, and larger holes were more common in beaver areas. This complementary relationship shows that conservation plans can and should encapsulate all of these organisms.

Scavenging and the ecology of fear: Do animal carcasses create Islands of risk on the landscape?

Published by: Canadian Journal of Zoology

18th September 2017

Sometimes, the same species can be both a scavenger and predator. This study tested how small mammals responded to the risk of predation near carcasses, including the carcass of a beaver. Perhaps, sensing that a scavenger may be nearby, they avoid the area to avoid getting eaten? In the end, the study found mixed results - some mammals showed increased caution, others foraged more.

Population dynamics of two beaver species in Finland inferred from citizen-science census data

Published by: Ecosphere

1st September 2017

In Finland, local people contribute to research by taking part in long-term surveys of beaver populations. This text reports on a citizen-science programme, which successfully monitored the dynamics of both Eurasian and North American beaver populations over almost 20 years. In this period, the Eurasian beaver populations increased while invasive North American beavers declined.

Comparison of Czech and Latvian Beaver Population by Microsatellite Analysis and Genetic Differences between Castor Fiber and Castor Canadensis

Published by: Transylvanian Review

1st September 2017

Scientists compared the genetic profile of beaver populations in the Czech Republic and Latvia, taking into account context such as current hunting regulations and historic population bottlenecks. The authors identified sub-populations of Eurasian beavers from different places in the Czech Republic and described the impact of hunting on beavers' genetic diversity in Latvia.

Beavers as Engineers of Wildlife Habitat

Published by: Springer, Cham

31st August 2017

In this book chapter, the author describes how beavers create habitats for a variety of different species. In North America, birds such as herons, swans, and osprey benefit from the open water and dead wood. Wolves use abandoned lodges for dens. Moose and deer come to beaver ponds to cool off and get relief from biting insects. The text sets out connections to many other species including some amphibians and reptiles. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

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