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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The impacts of Phalaris arundinacea (reed canarygrass) invasion on wetland plant richness in the Oregon Coast Range, USA depend on beavers

Published by: Biological Conservation

1st July 2005

Researchers found that areas with beaver dams created ideal conditions for an invasive plant species (Phalaris arundinacea) in Oregon, USA. This invasive plant outcompeted native plants and led to a reduction of biodiversity. Since there are a lot of beaver wetlands in the area, the researchers warned that this plant presents a threat to local ecosystem health. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Dispersal and survival of juvenile beavers (Castor canadensis) in southern Illinois

Published by: The American Midland Naturalist

1st July 2005

This study tracked 32 young beavers in southern Illinois to understand their movements as they disperse from their home sites. They present a wide variety of results, including: how far the beavers travel, when in the year the beavers left and when they settled, how many left the home site and how many survived the process. They also explore the impact of geography, sex, and age on each these findings; for example, male beavers moved more frequently and for further distances than females, but ended up settling a similar distance away. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Ecological impact of beavers Castor fiber and Castor canadensis and their ability to modify ecosystems

Published by: Mammal Review

1st July 2005

In this article, researchers explain how beavers influence habitats physically, with their building behaviour, and biologically, with their foraging behaviour. They explain that beavers' impacts on the landscape vary according to population density and the geography of the habitat. The authors suggest that the influential role beavers play in ecosystem dynamics and their extensive range across the Northern hemisphere mean they should be a part of environmental managers' conservation plans.

Possible Tool Use by Beavers, Castor canadensis , in a Northern Ontario Watershed

Published by: Canadian Field-Naturalist

1st July 2005

This text reports on a beaver using a willow stem as a tool to reach higher branches for food. This unique behaviour reduced the need for land foraging, lowering the risk of predation to the beaver. This is the first reported instance of a beaver using a tool to help with foraging.

Consequences of Beaver, Castor canadensis, Flooding on a Small Shore Fen in Southwestern Quebec

Published by: Canadian Field-Naturalist

1st July 2005

This study recounts the history of a small peatland in a Canadian park. It explains how, between 1880 and 1980, a fen habitat persisted with largely stable water levels interspersed with occasional floods that killed encroaching trees. Later, higher water levels in the 1980s transformed the fen into a wetland. A beaver dam collapse in 2003 lowered water levels, exposing the peat and allowing plants to grow. The authors highlights how the fate of the fen could have been part of the park's beaver management plan.

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