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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Management by Assertion: Beavers and Songbirds at Lake Skinner (Riverside County, California)

Published by: Environmental Management

1st February 2007

This text discusses the management of an ecological reserve in California, USA. In this case, beavers were suspected of harming endangered songbirds and facilitating an invasive plant. This suspicion was not based in scientific evidence and, indeed, the scientific evidence suggested that the opposite was true. Nevertheless, a programme was started which permitted beavers' 'removal,' leading to unnecessary beaver deaths. The text highlights the importance of using scientific evidence for decision-making in reserve management.

Wolf reintroduction to Scotland: public attitudes and consequences for red deer management

Published by: Proceedings of the Royal Society B

30th January 2007

In Scotland, there is a debate about reintroducing wolves to control red deer populations which impact forests and farming. Simulations suggest wolf reintroduction could benefit conservation by reducing deer numbers and cutting the costs of deer control. Public opinion generally supports wolf reintroduction, although farmers have concerns. A small proportion of respondents to the survey said they preferred the idea of re-introducing other species such as beavers rather than wolves.

The Contribution of Headwater Streams to Biodiversity in River Networks

Published by: Journal of the American Water Resources Association

26th January 2007

This article sets out the importance of headwater streams (those near the source) for river biodiversity. The article mentions that beavers may frequent headwater streams but takes a much more general angle overall. They look at three headwater streams in the USA and highlight that over 290 species exist there.

Skulls of Neolithic Eurasian Beavers (Castor fiber L.) in Comparison with Skulls of Contemporary Beavers from Natural Biotopes of Wielkopolska Region (Poland)

Published by: Polish Journal of Environmental Studies

1st January 2007

This paper compared skulls of 2 ancient beavers with those of modern beavers in Poland. It found that ancient beavers had notably larger skulls than modern beavers of the same age. This is precisely set out by measuring different parts of the skull, including a part called the sagittal crest. Tables 3 and 4 set out these results in comparison to modern beavers.

Safety Assessment of Castoreum Extract as a Food Ingredient

Published by: American Journal of Toxicology

1st January 2007

Castoreum extract is a natural substance derived from beaver scent glands. This article assembles the research on its toxicity as a food additive. Based on the limited current data, consuming castoreum extract at current levels is deemed safe. Its long-term use throughout history without reported adverse effects supports this conclusion. It is regarded as safe by regulatory bodies. Overall, using castoreum extract at current levels poses no safety concerns. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

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