Topic Results: European BeaversBack to Currated List of Topics
Potential psychological benefits of nature enrichment through the reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) to Britain
Biodiversity is declining in the UK, which is considered one of the most nature depleted parts of the world. The reestablishment of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) has been posited as an effective means of facilitating a restoration of biodiversity in Britain, and following successful trials, nationwide reintroduction is being considered. This literature review considers the potential psychological benefits of such an initiative. Beavers could act as a ‘super restorer’, facilitating psychological as well as ecological restoration through a beneficial synergy of effects. Through their eco-engineering activities, beavers increase biodiversity at the landscape scale and facilitate habitat restoration and creation (creating a mosaic of green and blue space, and a sense of wilderness) all of which can increase the psychological well-being of visitors. Their creation of biodiverse natural settings offers the possibility of increased nature connectedness and nature-based psychological restoration amongst some of the human population of the UK. Beaver reintroduction may represent a partial antidote to ‘shifting baseline syndrome’ and beavers could act as a flagship species and become a totem of hope as eco-anxiety increases. Beavers can potentially have negative psychological impacts, and this will require appropriate planning, management and communication among stakeholders coupled with community-led initiatives to mitigate. Overall psychological benefits of beaver reintroduction likely exceed that of any other single species’ reintroduction or conservation initiative of equivalent cost, and far outweigh the costs of their reintroduction and management.
Beyond beaver wetlands: The engineering activities of a semi-aquatic mammal mediate the species richness and abundance of terrestrial birds wintering in a temperate forest
The engineering activities of the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber have far-reaching effects on the components of an environment and therefore modify the functioning of the ecosystem. The wetlands thereby created are the most conspicuous effect of beaver activity and attract water-related species. However, there is some evidence suggesting that beavers influence not only aquatic ecosystems but also the terrestrial habitats adjacent to these wetlands and the organisms occurring there. Because the impact of beavers on terrestrial birds is still poorly understood, this study evaluates the assemblage of birds wintering on beaver sites (N = 65) and paired reference sites (N = 65) in temperate forests of central Europe. We investigated the correlations between beaver presence, parameters of wetland areas, terrestrial vegetation characteristics, distance from the water’s edge and bird species richness and abundance. We found a greater species richness and abundance of wintering birds on beaver sites than on watercourses unmodified by this ecosystem engineer (by 38% and 61%, respectively). Species richness and abundance were higher in the terrestrial habitats near the edges of beaver ponds, but for some species this tendency also held in forests growing at some distance from beaver wetlands. Greater species richness was related to beaver presence, but also increased with a more open canopy and greater forest floor diversity, whereas bird abundance was correlated only with canopy openness.
This study evaluated habitat selection by European beaver across a spatial gradient from local (within the family territory) to a broad, ecoregional scale. Using aerial photography, the researchers assessed the habitat composition of 150 beaver territories and compared these data with 183 randomly selected sites not occupied by the species.
In this study, we modeled 12 beaver dam cascade scenarios in two catchments for eight flood events with a two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic model.
Current distribution, status and patterns of spread of the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber, and the implications for management
Reduced to 1200 animals in 8 small refugia by the end of the 19th century, natural spread and reintroductions have led to a powerful recovery in Eurasian beaver range and populations.
While Britain has had a slower start than some mainland European countries, beaver reintroduction is now gathering traction motivated by prospects of habitat enhancement, natural flood management and wider biodiversity benefits.
Investigation into factors affecting the timing of natal dispersal in the Eurasian beaver using data from an 18-year individual-based study
The aim of this study was to identify factors that influence the preferences of European beavers for various tree species
The aim of this paper was to test whether the space use of Eurasian beavers seasonally varies and whether the pattern comprises diverse habitats.
A review of the beaver’s history, population change, distribution, and population estimates in Europe.
Mobility of Settlements and Elements of the Biological Signaling Field of Beavers (Castor fiber) in the Basin of the Tadenka River (Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Reserve)
A study that suggests a high density of the biological signaling field is a sign of possible depletion of food resources, and can explain how beavers can have such a large range.
Foraging Decisions of North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) are Shaped by Energy Constraints and Predation Risk
Study to determine if beavers are able to assess the risk of predation by using two main cues: the distance from the water and the presence or absence of predator odors.
Researchers examined interactions between beaver and fish communities in the types of streams selected for Eurasian beaver re-colonization. They found several critical elements of fish communities in these mountain streams that relate to beaver activity and its effects.
The Beaver Trust presents a webinar on Climate Change effects on farming in Europe and how beavers can help mitigate some of the resultant drought and flood damage. 2021.
A review by the University of Southampton of how the reintroduction of beaver will affect fish in Scotalnd
A literature review and summary of the beaver’s impact as an ecosystem engineer. It focuses primarily on the European beaver (castor fiber), but includes valuable information about the profound ecological benefits of the North American beaver (castor Canadensis) too.