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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Landscape structure and population density affect intraspecific aggression in beavers

Published by: Landscape structure and population density affect intraspecific aggression in beavers

26th November 2020

This study looked at how landscape structure and population density affected the aggressive behaviours of both Eurasian and North American beavers. It looked at tail scars from over 1,000 beavers. In interconnected landscapes such as lakes and rivers, aggression increased with population density in North American beavers. The relationship was more complex for Eurasian beavers. In more isolated habitats (ponds), population density had little impact on aggression.

Transformation of benthic communities in forest lowland streams colonised by Eurasian beaver Castor fiber (L.)

Published by: International Review of Hydrobiology

17th November 2020

This study examined how beavers affect aquatic invertebrates in lowland streams in Poland. Comparing two forest streams - one with beaver ponds and one without beavers - it showed that dissolved oxygen levels decreased in beaver ponds. This led to changes in invertebrate communities, including insects. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Outsized effect of predation: Wolves alter wetland creation and recolonization by killing ecosystem engineers

Published by: Science Advances

13th November 2020

This study shows that wolves impact ecosystems by preying on beavers, preventing them from engineering their ecosystems in specific places. When beavers disperse, they usually do so alone. So if they get eaten by a wolf, their pond will not be maintained. This then limits all of the impacts that beaver activities can have, such as that on water storage, sometimes for several years. Predators therefore shape how beavers' impacts are distributed across the landscape, although they don't hunt enough to suppress the total number of beavers in this area.

Improving engagement in managing reintroduction conflicts: learning from beaver reintroduction

Published by: Journal of Environmental Planning and Management

10th November 2020

The researchers held interviews with individuals who reported conflicts with beavers (Castor fiber) during the River Otter Beaver Trial and identified five key themes that should be considered when engaging with people that could be affected by reintroduction conflicts: (1) proactive engagement or a fast response; (2) appropriate communication; (3) shared decision-making; (4) sense that humans are responsible for conflicts with reintroduced species; (5) a need for certainty.
The study concludes that engagement with affected individuals will likely be improved, with reduced conflict potential, where these themes are addressed.

Wildlife tourism in reintroduction projects: Exploring social and economic benefits of beaver in local settings

Published by: Journal for Nature Conservation

2nd November 2020

Through a case study in Devon, this study reveals how reintroduced species tourism has economic benefit for local business, but the scale of benefit is greatest where there is uptake in business initiatives.
The researchers suggest that reintroduction practitioners should encourage businesses to maximise opportunities, especially where tourism is cited as a reason to reintroduce. The study also found that while reintroduction-related wildlife tourism may interact with other local issues, seeing a reintroduced species or signs of its activity can produce positive emotional responses.
Further research is recommended into whether benefits remain in the long-term, but speculate some value will persist.

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