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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Abundance and species diversity of small mammals on beaver lodges

Published by: Ekologija

1st December 2007

A study in Eastern Lithuania found out what types of small mammal live on beaver lodges. Nine species were found, including shrews, mice, and voles. Beaver lodges hosted a greater number of species than other nearby habitats. The greatest number of species were found in autumn. Results highlight the importance of beaver lodges, particularly for bank voles. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Harvesting of males delays female breeding in a socially monogamous mammal; the beaver

Published by: Biology Letters

7th November 2007

This study explored how hunting male beavers affects reproduction in beavers. The results show that 'harvesting' of male beavers disrupted beavers' reproductive cycle, leading to kits being born later. Being born late reduces the chance of kits' survival. This means that hunting of male beavers affects overall population health - this is a particularly drastic effect because beavers are monogamous.

Stream flow, salmon and beaver dams: roles in the structuring of stream fish communities within an anadromous salmon dominated stream

Published by: Journal of Animal Ecology

1st November 2007

This text explores how fishes are distributed in streams. It questions the traditional idea of species richness increasing as you go downstream - which is based on evidence from only one type of fish - and suggests an alternative model. It tests this alternative model using a stream in Canada. The findings are that the presence of Atlantic salmon, beaver dams, and water flow levels also influence the fish community. This challenges the previous understanding of fish distribution in streams.

Economic impacts of the beaver

Published by: Wildlife Conservation Research Unit

1st November 2007

This study preceded beavers' more widespread reintroduction to Britain. Using questionnaires and economic tools, it estimated the economic pros and cons of beaver reintroduction, trying to put a number on the boost to wildlife tourism and the cost of their damages. The results showed that the economic benefits would likely far outweigh the costs.

Utilisation of woody plants for lodge construction by European beaver (Castor fiber) in the Loire valley, France

Published by: Mammalia

26th September 2007

The types of trees beavers use for building lodges on the Loire River, France, are not well understood. Here, scientists studied which trees beavers use and how they cut them. Beavers prefer larger willow branches for the frame of their lodges, even if these trees aren't common in the area. They then use smaller branches from various other nearby trees to cover the lodge. Beavers often cut trees so that they fall into the water and are easier to transport. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

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