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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Influence of watercourse depth and width on dam‐building behaviour by Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber)

Published by: Journal of Zoology

1st January 2006

This study investigated how stream depth and width affect beavers' dam-building behaviour. In Sweden, researchers measured 39 beaver lodges without dams and 74 dam sites. Lodge sites tended to be deeper and wider than dam sites. A number of possible explanations are given but more research is needed to understand why beavers choose to build or not build a dam in a given spot.

Transverse and longitudinal variation in woody riparian vegetation along a montane river

Published by: Western North American Naturalist

1st January 2006

This study examines how different plants grow along a river in Colorado, USA, focusing on how often they get flooded. They found that certain plants, like sandbar willows, prefer areas that flood more often, while others, like river birches, like less frequent flooding. Beavers play a role in shaping these areas, disrupting the riverbank habitats to help maintain plant life.

Genetic Variation and Population Structure of the Eurasian Beaver Castor fiber in Eastern Europe and Asia

Published by: Journal of Mammalogy

14th December 2005

The study looked at genetic variation in Eurasian beavers in eastern Europe and Asia, focusing on small, isolated populations. The results show limited genetic variation despite big geographical distances. The subspecies with the most different genes is likely that way because it has been isolated for the longest time. Overall, the data suggests that the present beaver populations in eastern Europe and Asia have a single shared ancestor from around the end of the last ice age.

Amplification of negative impact of beaver dams on fish habitats of rivers in extreme climatic conditions

Published by: Journal of Fish Biology

1st December 2005

Researchers in Estonia found that, during drier years, fish migrated downstream for refuge. In rivers with beaver dams, fish migration was blocked, leading to fish death in reservoirs above dams. After the drought, fish came back, but beaver dams again hindered this process. Beaver dams may impede fish restoration after environmental disturbances like droughts. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Slow growth of a translocated beaver population partly due to a climatic shift in food quality

Published by: Oikos

1st December 2005

This study monitored a population of beavers translocated from the Czech Republic to the Netherlands. At the new site, willow trees budded sooner in the year than at the old site. Willow is a key food for beavers and the nutritional quality of leaves reduce as they mature. The authors suggest that this likely contributed to a low reproductive rate in the translocated beaver population as they were unable to get sufficient nutrients during gestation in spring. This study illustrates one of beavers' possible challenges facing the climate crisis. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

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