We have gathered decades of scientific research from UK, continental Europe and North America to share with people interested in diving deeper into the world beavers.
From beaver biology, ecology and management to their effects on flooding, farming, pollution, carbon, fish and other wildlife, research has been done to help us understand beavers and their wetlands, and to inform how we can co-exist with them.
This list of resources is being constantly amended and updated so check back again soon for more information.
THE VALUE OF ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
It is well known that beavers provide benefits through the ecosystem services (water purification, moderation of extreme events, habitat and biodiversity provision, nutrient cycling, greenhouse gas sequestration, recreational hunting and fishing, water supply, and non-consumptive recreation) they provide but quantifying and putting a common system of values on these services is no mean feat. It’s a complex area and there are estimates for some services in some areas in the literature. However Stella Thompson and her colleagues have gone a step further and estimated the value of beaver benefits from across the Northern Hemisphere; their findings are presented in a paper recently published in Mammal Review (see Beavers, people and management below). The numbers are large, in terms of millions of USD, for each service from across the range of both North American and Eurasian beavers. Such schemes, but maybe based on estimates at local, regional and national scales, could greatly assist in offsetting the costs to landowners and others resulting from beaver impacts by the ecosystem benefits that beavers provide.
SMOKEY THE BEAVER
A recent, topical paper on how beavers create wildfire refuge areas in USA has been published by Emily Fairfax and Andrew Whittle, and Ben Goldfarb has written a popular review of this important work in National Geographic. It is another example of the benefits of wetland habitats and rich riparian corridors created by beavers for both humans and wildlife. The full references to these articles can be found in the Beavers and land and water section below.