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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Beaver (Castor fiber) Activity in an Archaeological Context: A Mid-Holocene Beaver Burrow Feature and a Late-Holocene Ecofact at the Late Palaeolithic Grabow Site, Northern Germany*

Published by: Journal of Wetland Archaeology

31st August 2017

This text discussed challenges in analysing archaeological sites in wetlands. It does this by using the example of an archaeological site in Northern Germany, where extensive beaver burrows were discovered. A gnawed piece of wood was also found, though it is likely that this wood was chewed by a water vole rather than a beaver.

Factors Affecting Abundance of Beaver Dams in Forested Landscapes

Published by: Wetlands

29th June 2017

Beavers play a crucial role in North American forests, yet the factors influencing their distribution remains unclear, especially at a large scale. This study sought to understand what factors affect beaver dam abundance across an area of 300,000 square kilometres. The steepness of the stream and the area of non-forested land were shown to be key factors, but the text also describes other variations between different regions of the study area. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Species distribution models as a tool to predict range expansion after reintroduction: A case study on Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber)

Published by: Journal for Nature Conservation

1st June 2017

This study used a computer model to help predict where reintroduced Eurasian beavers might thrive in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They found a lot of suitable habitat, but less than 10% of this was in existing protected areas. The study highlights areas where beavers might move into soon, and suggests monitoring could be focussed in these areas.

The Beavers (Castoridae) of Yushe Basin

Published by: Springer, Dordrecht

21st May 2017

This review described the fossil beavers found in China's Yushe Basin. It found that recent work had redefined scientists' understanding of beavers' evolution - merging some species perviously thought distinct. Some species resembled modern beavers, some were larger, and some were completely aquatic. Each species survived for different lengths of time. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Alteration of stream temperature by natural and artificial beaver dams

Published by: PLoS One

17th May 2017

Some people were concerned that beavers may increase streams' water temperature beyond that which is healthy for certain fish. This eight-year study in the USA found that beaver dams actually made water temperature changes less extreme and created a more appropriate temperature range for local fish such as the steelhead. This suggests that beaver dam creation (by beavers or those mimicked by humans) could help counteract the impacts of the climate crisis, benefiting sensitive species like the steelhead.

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