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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Echinococcus risk from imported beavers

Published by: Veterinary Record

3rd March 2012

This letter talks about the importance of health screening for Eurasian beavers entering the UK. In the 5-year beaver trial in Scotland, thorough health checks were conducted in line with international guidelines. However, other beavers in Scotland - for example, around the Tay - would likely not have undergone such rigorous checks. While beaver reintroduction benefits biodiversity, caution is urged to prevent the spread of disease. They suggest, for example, that a standardised veterinary health screening protocol is put in place.

Ecological impact of Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) activity on macroinvertebrate communities in Lithuanian trout streams

Published by: Central European Journal of Biology

12th February 2012

This study explored the impact of beaver activity on the types and numbers of insects in streams in Lithuania. Beaver ponds completely changed the balance of insects living in and around the water, compared to upstream forested areas and downstream sites. The text describes which insect groups fared better and which fared worse. By creating a cloudy-watered pond with slow-moving water, the aquatic habitats become more uniform. With less diverse habitat, the diversity of insects supported (in that particular stretch of the stream) is also reduced.

Fur mites of the genus Schizocarpus Trouessart (Acari: Chirodiscidae) parasitizing the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber belorussicus Lavrov (Rodentia: Castoridae) in NE Poland (Suwałki)

Published by: Zootaxa

17th January 2012

Researchers found twenty species of mites on six Eurasian beavers in Poland. They discovered eight new species and confirmed twelve previously known ones. The study details where these mites live on the beavers and where they're found geographically.

Distribution, population assessment and activities of beavers in Tayside

Published by: Scottish Natural Heritage

1st January 2012

Scottish Natural Heritage commissioned a study to understand the extent of beaver activity in the Tay catchment. Scientists estimated around 38 groups lived on the catchment, of which only 3 had built dams. 99% of the trees felled were willows. They also found that, as beaver populations stabilised, narrower trees were felled. Beavers very rarely foraged on crops, with evidence of such activity found for only 2 groups. The report recommends methods for mitigating human-beaver conflict and suggests ongoing monitoring.

The Scottish Beaver Trial: Socio-economic monitoring – First report 2011

Published by: Scottish Natural Heritage

1st January 2012

This report describes ways to measure the economic benefits of reintroducing beavers; it was commissioned as part of the 5-year trial reintroduction in Scotland. The economics benefits are said to encompass both market and non-market impacts. The first might include changes in visitor behaviour and local businesses; the latter might involve overall well-being associated with conservation efforts. The report desribes options for measuring these impacts in detail.

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