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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Using Scent-Marking Stations to Collect Hair Samples to Monitor Eurasian Lynx Populations

Published by: Wildlife Society Bulletin

1st June 2006

This research tested the use of a new trap to study lynx populations in a Polish forest. The traps were baited with castoreum (a chemical secreted by beavers) and catnip oil. The traps collected lynx hair so that researchers could test the DNA contained within the hair. The article reports on the success of the new trap, saying that it can be used to monitor lynx in areas where they're not very common.

Sexual Dimorphism in Territorial Scent Marking by Adult Eurasian Beavers (Castor fiber)

Published by: Journal of Chemical Ecology

31st May 2006

This study explores scent-marking behaviour in Eurasian beavers. Researchers tracked six beaver pairs and found males marked more frequently and spent more time at borders, especialy during summer but not in spring. This suggests males play a bigger role in territorial defense, especially when females are lactating. The researchers also dig into more complex aspects of this territorial behaviour.

Exotic Vertebrate Fauna in the Remote and Pristine Sub-Antarctic Cape Horn Archipelago, Chile

Published by: Biodiversity & Conservation

30th May 2006

The study reports on the presence of non-native, or 'exotic', vertebrates in an area of Chile which is supposedly a 'pristine' wilderness. Despite its remoteness, the area was home numerous exotic species, particularly land-based mammals and freshwater fish which outnumbered native species. Non-native species were more common near human settlements but even remote islands had introduced species like North American beavers and American minks, impacting native ecosystems significantly.

Hydrologic, geomorphic and climatic processes controlling willow establishment in a montane ecosystem

Published by: Hydrological Processes

1st May 2006

In this study, researchers tried to understand how willow trees grow on different landforms found in the rivers of the Rocky Mountains, USA. They compared historic willow growth to river levels on landforms including former beaver ponds. Moments of flooding were shown to be important in the cycle of willow growth, including after breaches of beaver dams. They explain three different ways in which climate change will make life harder for willows but describe how the return of beavers may mitigate some of these challenges. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Understorey succession in Nothofagus forests in Tierra del Fuego (Argentina) affected by Castor canadensis

Published by: Applied Vegetation Science

1st May 2006

This study investigated whether abandoned beaver dams had long-term effects on the types of plants found in Argentinean forests. They found that beavers altered both the quantity, species, and extent of plant species. Ferns were most affected, while grasses thrived. Trees did not recover quickly. This suggests that these forests may be struggling to adapt to the sustained presence of beavers. The population levels of beavers in this area is not sustainable for the ecosystem.

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