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 beaver meadow complex revisited – the role of beavers in post-glacial floodplain development

Published by: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

8th November 2011

This study explores how beavers influence sediment storage in valleys with shallow slopes. Before European colonisation, abundant beavers created a complex channel network, trapping sediment and creating ecosystems called beaver meadows. Now, with fewer beavers, river networks are often only single channels, reducing opportunities for sediment storage and increasing erosion. These changes have impacts across the ecosystem, for example by reducing habitat for plants (and beavers!).

Recovery and status of native and introduced beavers Castor fiber and Castor canadensis in France and neighbouring countries

Published by: Mammal Review

21st October 2011

This text discusses the recovery of beavers in France and their current status in different river systems. It takes a multi-scalar approach, looking at the state of play in specific regions, at a national level, and in surrounding countries. Overall, the recovery of beavers in France has been a success, but some populations are not thriving as much as others. The presence of North American beavers in neighbouring countries is discussed, raises concerns that they may outcompete the native Eurasian beaver - options for responding to this threat are also discussed.

Reintroduction of beavers Castor fiber may improve habitat quality for vespertilionid bats foraging in small river valleys

Published by: European Journal of Wildlife Research

1st August 2011

Beavers change their environment by creating ponds and cutting down trees, altering the forest structure. This study tested whether these changes provide new foraging sites for bats in northern Poland. Researchers found more bat activity in areas modified by beavers. By cutting down trees, beavers remove forest clutter, making it easier for bats to fly. By creating ponds, beavers may create better conditions for bats' echolocation. Not all species benefitted equally, with less activity for Myotis species of bat, possibly because excessive duckweed in the water creates worse conditions for bats' echolocation when hunting.

The impact of beavers’ (Castor fiber L.) lodges on vascular plant species diversity in forest landscape

Published by: Polish Journal of Ecology

1st July 2011

This study explored the plant ecology of beavers' lodges in Poland. It found that beaver lodges created unique habitats for specific groups of plant species which are less common in surrounding areas. Overall, the researhers say that lodges are important for plant biodiversity,

Seasonal, diel, and ontogenetic patterns of within-den behavior in beavers (Castor canadensis)

Published by: Mammalian Biology

1st July 2011

This study analysed over 1500 hours of video footage from inside beaver dens in the USA to find out what they get up to in there! Males and females used their time in similar ways, with over 95% of time accounted for by sleeping, eating, and grooming. The activities changed according to the season; for example, adult beavers spent more time feeding inside the den in the spring. Charts are dotted throughout the paper to describe these findings. Whilst adult beavers had only one sleep cycle per day, the kits went to sleep and woke up several times.

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