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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Understanding the ecology of mammalian carnivorans and herbivores from Valdegoba cave (Burgos, northern Spain) through stable isotope analysis

Published by: Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology

10th November 2010

In this paper, researchers took animal fossils from a cave in Spain and undertook chemical analysis to understand what they ate and some of their behaviour. In general, the findings aligned understanding of the fossil's modern-day descendants. Ancient beavers showed a preference for certain plants and appeared to live semi-aquatically. One surprise was that the ancient wolves did not appear to eat much beaver. The authors suggest these wolves were more reliant on eating other species. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Sourcing Eurasian beaver Castor fiber stock for reintroductions in Great Britain and Western Europe

Published by: Mammal Review

15th October 2010

To support re-introduction projects in Britain and western continental Europe, this article assesses options for where beavers should be sourced from. It discusses different options, taking into account the evolutionary history of beavers across Eurasia and in Britain, specifically, and the welfare of prospective beaver populations. It also notes how, at the time of writing, some beavers had already been observed in the Tay catchment, in Scotland, although the origin of these beavers wasn't well established.

Conservation of the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber: An olfactory perspective

Published by: Mammal Review

1st October 2010

Chemical communication is important to the Eurasian beaver. By studying their scent, we can understand social behaviours and wellbeing. This knowledge had not been applied to conservation practices. The authors of this paper propose that doing so may help reduce beaver-human conflict, decrease stress during captivity, and improve reintroduction success by managing territorial issues and influencing settlement.

Conservation of the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber: an olfactory perspective

Published by: Mammal Review

29th September 2010

Chemical communication in mammals plays a crucial role in beaver territorial and social interactions. This study found it can be used in conservation efforts, such as reintroduction programs, to monitor behaviour, reduce conflicts, and improve success rates. Olfactory studies offer non-invasive methods for monitoring and ensuring the well-being of translocated animals. Chemical analysis, olfactory studies and behavioural manipulations involving scent can generate practical solutions to conservation challenges such as animal capture, captive stress reduction, breeding pair formation and release site fidelity.

Ecosystem engineers maintain a rare species of butterfly and increase plant diversity

Published by: Oikos

1st May 2010

Researchers investigated if beavers could achieve two conservation goals: support an endangered butterfly (the St. Francis’ satyr) by modifying wetland habitat, and increase riverbank plant diversity. They found that beavers created diverse patches of unique habitats, supporting plant species not found elsewhere. Indirectly, this created habitats to support the populations of the rare butterfly. This showcases the role of beavers in maintaining biodiversity in wetlands.

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