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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Spatial spread of Eurasian beavers in river networks: a comparison of range expansion rates

Published by: Journal of Animal Ecology

21st January 2013

A new method for tracking beaver dispersal was developed and tested in the Czech Republic. This text describes the method and the results, which provide more accurate estimates of beaver dispersal. This is important for predicting species' future spread and evaluating management strategies. Beavers spread around 15-20 km/yr along the main river routes.

Invasive North American beaver Castor canadensis in Eurasia: a review of potential consequences and a strategy for eradication

Published by: Wildlife Biology

1st December 2012

Seven North American beavers were brought to Finland in 1937 to boost the dwindling population of Eurasian beavers. Later, it was discovered they were different species. Now, both species are spreading in Finland and Russia, raising concerns about competition between the species. Research shows they share similar habits and may compete for resources, potentially leading to the local extinction of Eurasian beavers. To prevent this outcome, pillars of an eradication plan are described.

More genetic data are needed before populations are mixed: response to ‘Sourcing Eurasian beaver Castor fiber stock for reintroductions in Great Britain and Western Europe’

Published by: Mammal Review

1st October 2012

This article responds to a previous paper suggesting three options for reintroducing Eurasian beavers in Britain and Western Europe: using beavers from one western population, mixing beavers from multiple western populations, or mixing eastern and western beavers. The authors suggest that, since option three goes against international conservation guidelines, options one and two should be the focus. They emphasise the importance of further genetic analysis and suggest that decisions shouldn't be based solely on cost or the genetics of existing captive and escaped populations.

The influence of mean climate trends and climate variance on beaver survival and recruitment dynamics

Published by: Global Change Biology

1st September 2012

Climate change affects not only average weather but also its variability. This study compared climate trends over 90 years and compared it to beavers' survival at different ages. Overall, beaver survival was linked to less variable precipitation and temperature. These findings highlight the importance of environmental variability - as one of the impacts of climate change - in regulating populations, even for a species as adaptable and long-lived as a beaver.

Aspen and Willow Restoration Using Beaver on the Northern Yellowstone Winter Range

Published by: Restoration Ecology

1st July 2012

Beavers were reintroduced to Eagle Creek, USA, in 1991 to help with the recovery of aspen trees. This study reports on 15 years of monitoring: where aspen trees were found as well as how tall and how old they were. Overall, the study found that, while beavers stimulated aspen sprouts and saplings, browsing by deer, elk, and bison hindered successful aspen recovery. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

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