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 impacts of beavers Castor spp. on biodiversity and the ecological basis for their reintroduction to Scotland, UK

Published by: Mammal Review

10th May 2016

Published in 2016, at the time of writing the two wild populations of beavers in Scotland were present on a trial basis with the case of their full reintroduction is being considered by Scottish ministers. This review investigated the mechanisms by which beavers act as ecosystem engineers and discussed the possible impacts of beavers on the biodiversity of Scotland. The review states that a widespread positive influence on biodiversity would be expected, though detrimental impacts on certain woodland habitats and species of conservation importance is to be considered.

Alternative prey use affects helminth parasite infections in grey wolves

Published by: Journal of Animal Ecology

7th May 2016

In this article, scientists investigated how wolf diets influence the distribution of parasites across an ecosystem. They examined wolf carcasses in Canada to understand their diet and the parasites they carry. Results showed that wolves consuming more beavers - not their prey of choice - had fewer parasites. This shows that food webs are not just affected by direct predation, but also by how predation enables (or not) certain parasites to reproduce.

Do transmitters affect survival and body condition of American beavers (Castor Canadensis)?

Published by: Wildlife Biology

1st May 2016

In the USA, researchers studied the effects of radio transmitters on the survival of North American beavers. Both short-term and long-term survival and welfare wasn't affected by transmitter type and compared well to ear-tagged beavers. Transmitters caused greater winter weight loss, though, which might suggest a small impact on beaver survival and condition. On the whole, the authors say there is no reason not to continue using these tools for monitoring beavers.

Performance of tail-mounted transmitters on American beavers Castor canadensis in a northern climate

Published by: Wildlife Biology

1st May 2016

Tail-mounted transmitters for tracking North American beavers were tried out for the first time in the northern USA. On average, the transmitters stayed on for only 133 days, with males and females showing similar retention times. Transmitters often detached due to beavers chewing antennas or damaging attachment points. This result is shorter than in warmer regions, and the authors suggested why this might be the case.

Landscape-level impact and habitat factors associated with invasive beaver distribution in Tierra del Fuego

Published by: Biological Invasions

16th March 2016

Understanding the impact and distribution of invasive North American beavers in Patagonia is crucial for ecology and conservation. Researchers used satellite imagery to estimate that over 31,000 hectares of the Tierra del Fuego Island had been affected by beavers. This makes beavers the largest impact on sub-Antarctic forests since humans began agriculture. The text described how this study could be useful for future management approaches.

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