Beavers are represented by two extant species, the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) and the North American beaver (Castor canadensis); each has played a significant role in human history and dominated wetland ecology in the northern hemisphere. Their behaviour and ecology both fascinate and perhaps even infuriate, but seemingly never fail to amaze. Both species have followed similar histories from relentless persecution to the verge of extinction (largely through hunting), followed by their subsequent recovery and active restoration which is viewed by many as a major conservation success story.
Beavers have now been reintroduced throughout Europe and North America, demonstrating that their role as a keystone engineer is now widely recognised with proven abilities to increase the complexity and biodiversity of freshwater ecosystems. What animals other than humans can simultaneously act as engineers, forest workers, carpenters, masons, creators of habitats, and nature managers? Over the last 20 years, there has been a huge increase in the number of scientific papers published on these remarkable creatures, and an authoritative synthesis is now timely. This accessible text goes beyond their natural history to describe the impacts on humans, conflict mitigation, animal husbandry, management, and conservation.
Beavers: Ecology, Behaviour, Conservation, and Management is an accessible reference for a broad audience of professional academics (especially carnivore and mammalian biologists), researchers and graduate students, governmental and non-governmental wildlife bodies, and amateur natural historians intrigued by these wild animals and the extraordinary processes of nature they exemplify.
1. Introducing the Beaver
2. Utilization and Distribution of Beavers
3. Beaver Morphology and Physiology
4. Habitat Use and Constructions
5. The Seasonal Vegetarian
6. Activity Patterns and Life History
7. Territoriality, Communication, and Populations
8. Mortality and Morbidity
9. The Ecological Engineer
10. Animal Management and Population Monitoring
11. Living with Beavers. An 'Adorable Nuisance'?
Frank Rosell is a Professor in behavioural ecology at the University of South-Eastern Norway where he has worked since 1994. He has a broad scientific interest and has published approximately 120 scientific papers with peer review, most of them on beavers. He has also published four other books on beavers and another on dogs (Secrets of the Snout: The Dog's Incredible Nose, 2018) that has been translated to German, French, Spanish and English.
Róisín Campbell-Palmer is an independent beaver consultant working throughout Britain and the Republic of Ireland but based in Scotland, advising on a range of beaver issues from reintroduction to management conflicts. Previously she was the Conservation Projects Manager for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), managing native projects including beaver restoration and Scottish wildcats. She has published more than 20 scientific papers and two other beaver books. Róisín has an advisory role on the Beaver Advisory Committee for England, the River Otter Beaver Management Group and the National Beaver Reintroduction Forum, Scotland.
"[...] Information is drawn from scientific publications but also those working with beavers. The text is divided into eleven chapters that explore every aspect of beaver life. The earlier chapters provide an overview of beaver biology, moving onto beaver ecology, and then culminating in conservation and management. Each chapter stands alone, with its own reference list, and is accompanied by colour diagrams and images. The prose is accessible to the lay person, while containing everything a land manager would need to know. [...] A must read for beaver enthusiasts, academics and land managers alike"
– Sarah L. Taylor, The Niche 54(3)