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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Wildlife tourism in reintroduction projects: Exploring social and economic benefits of beaver in local settings

Published by: Journal for Nature Conservation

2nd November 2020

Through a case study in Devon, this study reveals how reintroduced species tourism has economic benefit for local business, but the scale of benefit is greatest where there is uptake in business initiatives.
The researchers suggest that reintroduction practitioners should encourage businesses to maximise opportunities, especially where tourism is cited as a reason to reintroduce. The study also found that while reintroduction-related wildlife tourism may interact with other local issues, seeing a reintroduced species or signs of its activity can produce positive emotional responses.
Further research is recommended into whether benefits remain in the long-term, but speculate some value will persist.

The reintroduction of Castor fiber in Piedmont (Italy): An integrated SWOT-spatial multicriteria based approach for the analysis of suitability scenarios

Published by: Ecological Indicators

1st November 2020

The Eurasian beaver disappeared from Italy in the 16th century due to hunting. This study combined zoological, historical, and geographic data to identify suitable areas in a region of Northern Italy for reintroducting the beaver. The paper goes on to discuss what the next steps would be in a reintroduction programme, including community engagement.

Long-term capture and handling effects on body condition, reproduction and survival in a semi-aquatic mammal

Published by: Scientific Reports

21st October 2020

Long-term beaver studies may include repeated capture to be able to assess how they are doing at various moments, but what is the impact of repeated capture on the beaver's welfare? Over 20 years, researchers in Norway found that this did have some impact. Dominant beavers (such as the parents, who tend to be bigger to start with) lost more body weight the more they were captured. However, overall, survival and body condition weren't affected. Older beavers experienced reduced litter sizes with increased captures.

Semi-aquatic mammals: ecology and biology

Published by: Johns Hopkins University Press

13th October 2020

This book weaves together evolutionary and ecological stories of 140 semi-aquatic mammals from history and the present day. It looks at some of the physical challenges that these species have to face, such as heat loss in the aquatic environment. The text also highlights the vital role of ecological engineers such as beavers and the common hippopotamus. It emphasizes the urgent need to understand and conserve these species and highlights successful stories of recovery. It is written in an engaging style with lots of illustrations. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Ecosystem services provided by beavers Castor spp.

Published by: Mammal Review

1st October 2020

This study aimed to estimate the financial value of beaver activity across the northern hemisphere. Beavers perform important services such as water purification, habitat creation, and greenhouse gas sequestration. These services, previously unquantified, were valued at hundreds of millions of US dollars each year. Habitat provision and greenhouse gas sequestration were particularly valuable. These findings may inform future schemes for managing any conflicts arising between beavers and humans.

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