The Ecological Consequences of the Reintroduction of the European Beaver Castor Fiber

Topics: European Beaver, Beaver, Riparian zone Pages: 3 (891 words) Published: February 13, 2013
The ecological consequences of the reintroduction of the European Beaver Castor fiber Several attempts have been made at reintroducing European Beavers Castor fiber to habitats where they have previously become extinct. There are numerous biotic and abiotic impacts associated with C. fiber reintroductions, such as overhunting, competition, habitat destruction and pollutants (Sjöåsen, 1996). This essay will be looking at the ecological consequences of such reintroductions. Before reintroducing C. fiber, several factors would need to be considered. Firstly, it would be necessary to assess why extinction occurred previously. Another aspect to look at before C. fiber reintroductions is habitat surveys as well as assessing C. fiber for any parasites or diseases prior to reintroductions. Ćirović et al, 2009 found how parasites were introduced with the beavers to an area previously parasite free. Parasite monitoring prior to reintroducing is paramount due to beaver distributions being large, causing rapid spreading. The paper also stresses on the legal hunting of beavers and how it originally caused extinction. This may be due to unregulated hunting practises. Hartman, in 1994 tended to favour the hunting of C. fiber. Hartman testifies populations of C. fiber tend to be irruptive, following the sigmoid growth curve. However, when population numbers of C. fiber reach its saturation point and the resources cannot sustain the population numbers, it causes the population to crash. Hartman therefore proposes hunting management programs only during the rapid increase phases to control C. fiber numbers and maintain food resources to avoid unrestrained population decline. A paper by Fustec et al, 2001 looked how the presence of C. fiber can be beneficial to improve riparian habitats. It highlights how C. fiber regenerate riparian forests by improving the number of woody shoots. C. fiber coppice trees, which ultimately stimulates tree growth and reduces senescence. The paper...

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