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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Demography of Unexploited Beavers in Southern Illinois

Published by: Journal of Wildlife Management

1st February 2010

North American beaver population growth rates had been understudied in contexts where there was no hunting. This paper used radio trackers, video recordings, field studies, and other methods to assess the survival, dispersal, and bitrh rates of beavers in southern Illinois, USA. They report on these results, including a very high beaver density of 3.27 colonies/km². Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Effects of Hydromorphological Integrity on Biodiversity and Functioning of River Ecosystems

Published by: Hydrobiologia

22nd January 2010

This paper sets out the importance of the form (i.e. the shape and structure) of river channels as the foundation of ecosystem processes. Rivers'fluctuating forms are affected by slope, soil, water levels, and vegetation. Human activities like urbanisation and deforestation affect these natural processes. Beaver dams are highlighted as a feature which can increase the connectivity of habitats from the river to the banks by raising water levels.

Belford catchment proactive flood solutions: a toolkit for managing runoff in the rural landscape

Published by: Proceedings of the SAC and SEPA Biennial Conference

1st January 2010

This text reports on flood management activities in Belford, England. Most local stakeholders support the flood mitigation efforts taking place: regular local meetings and maintenance concerns are said to be particularly important features of these efforts. Flood mitigation efforts mainly included building ponds, but beaver dams were an idea which also received support from the Environment Agency.

Demography and life history of the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber

Published by: University of Oxford

1st January 2010

This thesis reports on 12 years of studying beavers' lives in Norway, leading to several new insights into how beavers' lives pan out. For example, it finds that larger individuals dominate breeding positions, so smaller young beavers are driven to spend energy on growing bigger at the cost of body condition. It also explores how reproductive ability changes with age, how this dynamic depends on habitat quality, and how the variability of weather influences beavers' welfare. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

A critical review of the effects of beavers upon fish and fish stocks

Published by: Scottish Natural Heritage

1st January 2010

This report reviewed the published literature on how beavers interact with fish. Positive impacts of beaver activity on fish included enhanced habitat diversity and creating places of refuge, whilst negative impacts involved dams obstructing fish movement and reduced oxygen levels in ponds causing fish deaths. Overall, experts generally perceived that beavers' impact on fish populations was positive, particularly for migratory salmonids. That said, they also acknowledged negative effects on fish movement and spawning habitat.

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