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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Normal ocular features, conjunctival microflora and intraocular pressure in the Canadian beaver (Castor canadensis)

Published by: Veterinary Ophthalmology

1st December 2003

This study examined the eyes of sixteen healthy beavers from Canada. Eye structure, bacterial and fungal flora, and intraocular pressure were measured. Typical Canadian beaver eyes have circular pupils and a third eyelid; most eyes had bacteria but no fungi. Their retinas lack blood vessels. Please note, this resource is not open-access.

Local vs. landscape controls on plant species richness in beaver meadows

Published by: Ecology

1st December 2003

Researchers investigated beaver wetlands in New York state to see whether plant species richness is influenced more by landscape-scale factors or by factors within each wetland. They found that both were important: wetlands with higher water drainage rates had higher species richness but the time since beavers had left a site was also an important factor.

Beaver (Castor canadensis)

Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press

19th November 2003

This is the chapter of a book on the wild mammals of North America. The chapter is a good introduction to the North American beaver, covering its history, distribution, physiology, life cycle, behaviour, and ecology. The penultimate section looks at beavers' economic status, management and conservation before setting out research needs.

Are pre-Columbian conditions relevant baselines for managed forests in the northeastern United States?

Published by: Forest Ecology and Management

3rd November 2003

In this paper, the decline and conservation prospects for thicket habitats and species in northeastern USA are reviewed. Historically, beavers have been influential in the creation of thicket habitats; how the decline in beaver populations affects the prospects for effective thicket restoration remains unclear. The author also sets out a number of conservation options and challenges.

Options for managing early-successional forest and shrubland bird habitats in the northeastern United States

Published by: Forest Ecology and Management

3rd November 2003

This study sets out forest management options for the northeastern USA. Historically, these forests faced various natural disturbances like fire, wind, and beaver activity. Today, wind and beavers are the main natural forces affecting forests, but beavers - now recovering in numbers after having been made locally extinct - do not have the same landscape impact as before. This means that species reliant on disturbances are declining, while those favoring mature forests are stable or increasing. The authors say conservation efforts should simulate natural disturbances to create diverse habitats for wildlife preservation.

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