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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Food habits of the wolf Canis lupus in Latvia based on stomach analyses

Published by: Estonian Journal of Ecology

1st June 2009

Researchers studied the stomach contents of wolves in Latvia, finding beavers in 9% of the samples. Beaver remains were more likely to be found in the stomachs of male (13%) rather than female (3%) wolves. This aligns with findings from other studies, and can be explained by the fact that wolves hunt beavers alone and male wolves wander around alone more than female wolves, especially when looking after baby wolves.

Simulation modeling to understand how selective foraging by beaver can drive the structure and function of a willow community

Published by: Ecological Modelling

1st April 2009

Beavers like feeding on willow trees. This study tried to work out what the impact of this behaviour is on willow communities by using a simulation model based on a National Park in the USA. The model shows that beavers make willow trees grow faster and make the community more diverse, with a mix of younger and older plants. The total mass of willow is kept lower on average. This, ultimately, is beneficial for the ecosystem.

Intraspecific variability of beaver teeth (Castoridae: Rodentia)

Published by: Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

30th March 2009

This text examines how tooth size varies with age in two beaver species, Castor fiber and Castor canadensis. Measurements reveal significant size differences, especially in incisors, premolars, and third molars. The teeth often keep growing until the beavers are around 50 months old, then mostly stop growing. Comparisons with fossil beaver species show similar size ranges. The text also compares these results wiht fossil beavers and finds similar results. However, determining beavers' age based on the shape and physical features of the tooth is challenging.

Influence of rainfall and beaver dams on upstream movement of spawning Atlantic salmon in a restored brook in Nova scotia, Canada

Published by: River Research and Applications

19th March 2009

Researchers studied how beaver dams and autumn rains affect Atlantic salmon spawning. Most dams didn't affect spawning but some did - the use of 'notching' helped salmon to make it through dams when they did block salmon migration. Heavier rains helped salmon to access more of the stream (especially when beaver dams did block their passage).

The feasibility and acceptability of reintroducing the European beaver to England. England: Natural England and People’s Trust for Endangered Species

Published by: Natural England

17th March 2009

Commissioned jointly, this report by Natural England and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species explored beaver reintroduction feasibility, contribution to habitat restoration targets and preparation for potential applications for beaver releases in England. Natural England’s Board has not yet taken a position on beaver reintroductions at the time of publication

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