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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Beavers in Scotland: A Report to the Scottish Government

Published by: NatureScot

1st June 2015

A comprehensive report requested by the Scottish Government to investigate issues around beavers and beaver reintroduction since 1995, presented to Scottish Ministers in June 2015.
The Scottish Government announced in November 2016 that beavers would remain in Scotland.

Beavers in Scotland: a Report to the Scottish Government

Published by: Scottish Natural Heritage

1st June 2015

This wide-ranging, 200-page report summarised what was known about beavers in Scotland at the time. It came after the end of the 5-year Scottish Beaver Trial but also includes knowledge from a stakeholder engagement event and other experiences in Britain and further afield. It covers a broad range of impacts on biodiversity and human activities.

Aerial photography collected with a multirotor drone reveals impact of Eurasian beaver reintroduction on ecosystem structure

Published by: Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems

15th April 2015

This article tells of how researchers were able to use a lightweight drone, equipped with a digital camera, to monitor the impact of reintroduced beavers in England. The camera took photos with a 1cm resolution. With this level of detail, researchers successfully detected dam construction, tree felling, and some other beaver activities. The authors suggest this technology offers a useful tool for regular monitoring of beaver areas.

Captive care and welfare considerations for beavers

Published by: Zoo Biology

4th February 2015

Beavers are social animals who are relatively uncommon in captivity. This article showed that beavers' captive care needs might be more complex than commonly thought. It reviews the very limited material on beaver husbandry methods available and highlights the importance of considering their natural behaviours and social structures. A call for further research on how existing captivity conditions affected beaver behaviour and welfare was included.

The Scottish Beaver Trial: Fluvial geomorphology and river habitat 2008-2013, final report

Published by: Scottish Natural Heritage

1st February 2015

This report looks at the impact of beavers in the Scottish Beaver Trial on river habitats. Overall, beavers had minimal impact, choosing to spend more time in the lochs. Few dams were built, mainly where streams met lochs. Where sufficient standing water is already available - with vegetation on the bank - the authors say that beavers may not have a significant impact on habitat.

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