Thursday, 14 April 2011

Yesterday evening we attended our now monthly meeting of the Scottish Wild Beaver Group. We had a useful and news-filled evening because this was the first time that we had met since the Freedom of Information papers reached us. We spoke, too, about our meeting with Rob Thomas and Roisin Campbell-Palmer of the RZSS and, following from that the publication of the results of the autopsy on Erica.

Crossing Allan Street in Blairgowrie after the meeting I saw this newspaper billboard: a classic of its kind and interesting because there is no need to explain who Erica was to the people of Blairgowrie.

Petri Nummi, a Finnish zoologist with a particular interest in beavers, has kindly sent me a paper on beavers and their relations with bats.

2 Bats benefit from beavers: a facilitative link
3 between aquatic and terrestrial food webs
4 Petri Nummi Saara Kattainen Paula Ulander Anna Hahtola
5 Received: 2 November 2009 / Accepted: 28 December 2011
6 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010
7 Abstract Bat populations are declining in many areas, partly because up to two-thirds
8 of their wetland habitats have been lost. One natural agent creating wetlands is the
9 beaver, which is recolonizing its former range. Beaver flowages are known for their high
10 production of aquatic invertebrates. We tested the hypothesis that the high numbers of
11 insects emerging from beaver flowages influences their use by foraging bats. We com-
12 pared bat use and bat numbers above flowages of introduced Canadian beavers Castor
13 canadensis and in nearby control ponds where beavers were absent. The two bat species
14 detected, Eptesicus nilssoni and Myotis daubentoni, used beaver flowages more than non-
15 beaver ponds. This is especially the case for Eptesicus nilssoni. Bats also seemed to
16 forage in larger groups while above beaver ponds compared to the control ponds. Beaver
17 flowages appeared to improve bat habitats. A plausible reason for this could be the high
18 number of insects emerging from beaver ponds. Favouring the beaver in habitat man-
19 agement is a tool for creating suitable conditions for many other species, such as bats. In
20 areas not suited for the beaver, insect production can be achieved by imitating the beaver
21 with man-made impoundments. This is especially important in areas which have lost most
22 of their wetlands.
23 Keywords Bat conservation  Beaver  Emerging insects  Eptesicus nilssoni
24 Facilitation  Foraging habitat  Myotis daubentoni  Wetland management
25 Introduction
26 Bat populations are facing serious declines in many countries. This decline is largely
27 due to human-caused habitat loss and modifications, affecting both the roosting places
28 and feeding habitats of bats (Daan 1980; Walsh and Harris 1996; Hutson et al. 2001).
A1 P. Nummi (&)  S. Kattainen  P. Ulander  A. Hahtola
A2 Department of Forest Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 27, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
A3 e-mail:
Journal : Small 10531 Dispatch : 31-12-2010 Pages : 9
Article No. : 9986 h LE h TYPESET
MS Code : BIOC2686 h4 CP h4 DISK
Biodivers Conserv
DOI 10.1007/s10531-010-9986-7
Author Proof

Here is the abstract and a sentence or two of the introduction.

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