Restoring the European Beaver
50 Years of Experience
Edited By Goran Sjoberg & John P. Ball
280 pages, Illustrated
The Eurasian beaver Castor fiber has made a remarkable recovery in northern Europe. After nearly being extinct in the 19th century, the species was more or less totally protected. Later there were reintroductions, leading to large population increases during the 20th century. What will be the future for beaver in the 21st century? What can we learn from the past?
The results presented in this book cover all from the historical aspects of the beaver and its relation to humans, to case studies of the development of reintroduced or recovering populations, consequences of the activities of increasing populations for forests, and the beavers’ relationship with animal and plant communities on land and in the water. Several chapters deal with the high degree to which the beaver is able to transform its environment, and the often long-lasting character of its infl uence. Furthermore, and largely for the fi rst time, this book also makes a considerable body of Russian wildlife research regarding beavers, their re-introduction, and their ecological effects available to the West. Many scientists in the west will envy the detailed, long-term studies reported here that were made possible by state sponsorship of wildlife monitoring and research.
The chapters span an enormous area – from Norway in the west, over Sweden and Finland to the central parts of the European part of Russia. For Finland and in the Republic of Karelia, the complicated situation created by the presence of the North American beaver is considered. It is the editors’ hope that this book will be appreciated by land and wildlife managers, as well as conservation and hunting organisations, and policy makers. It should be useful not only for continued management of beaver populations in the areas covered in the chapters, but also for other areas in Europe and overseas.
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