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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Showing 525 articles

Tool-use in a display behaviour by Eurasian beavers (Castor fiber)

Published by: Animal Cognition

23rd September 2007

Tool use is rare in rodents and had never been linked to aggressive displays. This article reports on observations of 'stick display behaviour' in Eurasian beavers, where the beavers held a tool (most often a stick) in their mouth and waved it up and down, sometimes splashing the water. The article contains a video of the behaviour in the Electronic Supplementary Material section. This behaviour was mainly seen at territory borders, between rivals, and triggered increased aggression in the other. It likely serves as a territorial display.

Beaver explosion

Published by: New Scientist

19th September 2007

This letter presents some of the challenges associated with beaver reintroductions. It highlights concerns with the Scottish reintroduction which included the lack of an exit plan if things go wrong as beavers can't be lethally dealt with. It specifically mentions Baltic countries' experiences, which warn of overpopulation leading to impacts on smallholders through flooding and loss of land.

Hydrologic Regime and Herbivory Stabilize an Alternative State in Yellowstone National Park

Published by: Ecological Applications

1st September 2007

This study aimed to work out how and why willow populations had changed over the 20th century in Yellowstone National Park, USA. The researchers propose that eliminating the wolf led to elk outcompeting the beavers. As beaver dams were no longer maintained, water levels reduced and rivers begun to dig deeper into the land in a process called incision. These two changes made it more challenging for willow to grow. This change in geology means that, even with wolf populations returning, it may not be easy to restore the previous ecosystem functions without addressing these underlying hydrological shifts.

Identifying the mechanisms underlying the invasion of Castor canadensis (Rodentia) into Tierra del Fuego archipelago, Chile

Published by: Revista Chilena de Historia Natural

1st September 2007

This text proposes three hypotheses to explain the successful invasion of North American beavers across Tierra del Fuego, Chile. One is that they lack natural enemies, another is that there are available resources, and the third is that they create the conditions they need to survive. This last point is supported by the observation that beaver population density is higher where beavers have modified the habitat more. Please note, this paper is mostly written in Spanish.

Low potential for restraint of anadromous salmonid reproduction by beaver Castor fiber in the Numedalslågen River Catchment, Norway

Published by: River Research and Applications

1st September 2007

Researchers assessed the co-existence of salmon, sea trout, and beavers by analysing which areas of a Norwegian river system they all used. They also surveyed local landowners. They found that while beavers occupied some spawning areas, they only hindered a small portion of fish reproduction. Most landowners welcomed beavers alongside fish. Overall, they conclude that beavers are unlikely to significantly harm salmon and sea trout reproduction in similar areas.

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