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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Felling and foraging: results of the first year of beaver (Castor fiber) activity in an enclosed Scottish site

Published by: Lutra

31st December 2003

This study preceded the trial reintroduction of beavers to Scotland. Predictions of their impact had been made based on data from other European countries. This study aimed to improve those predictions by examining beavers in captivity in Eastern Scotland. The first year of monitoring showed that willow trees were most favored for felling, with alder and birch also affected. The study also presents data on beavers' preferences for tree size and location, as well as the rate at which they felled trees.

Life-History Characteristics of the Endangered Salish Sucker (Catostomus sp.) and Their Implications for Management

Published by: Copeia

4th December 2003

In this study, scientists researched the behaviour and habitat of a fish species called the Salish Sucker in British Colombia, Canada. One of their findings was that this species rarely crossed beaver dams.

Beaver herbivory of willow under two flow regimes: A comparative study on the Green and Yampa rivers

Published by: Western North American Naturalist

3rd December 2003

This study compared beaver willow-eating patterns and willow tree distribution on two rivers in Colorado, USA: one free-flowing, the other whose flow is regulated by a man-made dam. Despite similar willow abundance in both rivers, beavers cut significantly more willow on the latter river because the regulated flow created island patches near the water, making the willow more easily available to beavers.

Time budgets and sex differences in the Eurasian beaver

Published by: Animal Behaviour

1st December 2003

Six pairs of Eurasian beavers in Norway had their daily routines studied over two years, with researchers tracking the time spent traveling, eating, and being in their lodge. They found that males spent more time traveling than females, but otherwise, there were no significant differences. While the study had a small sample size, it provides evidence that male and female beavers share similar responsibilities in caring for their offspring. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

The Orientation of Beavers (Castor canadensis) when Cutting Trees

Published by: The Ohio Journal of Science

1st December 2003

Researchers sought to understand beavers' tree-cutting behaviour around a specific lake in central Ohio. No single tree-cutting strategy emerged, instead strategies appeared to be adapted to factors including: distance from water, tree size, and slope steepness. Where slopes were steeper, beavers mainly cut trees from the uphill side. Beavers cut smaller trees mainly from the downhill side.

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