Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Beavers Helping Frogs And Toads Survive

Date:
January 11, 2007
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Though considered a pest because of the culvert-clogging dams it builds on streams, the beaver is an ally in conserving valuable wetland habitat for declining amphibian populations, a University of Alberta study shows.

The humble beaver, besides claiming a spot of honour on the Canadian nickel, is also helping fellow species survive.

Though considered a pest because of the culvert-clogging dams it builds on streams, the beaver is an ally in conserving valuable wetland habitat for declining amphibian populations, a University of Alberta study shows.

The study, conducted in the boreal forests of west-central Alberta, showed that frog and toad choruses are only present on streams where beaver dams are present. While surveying the calls of male frogs and toads engaged in acoustic displays for females, researchers recorded approximately 5,000 boreal chorus frogs, wood frogs and western toads at 54 beaver ponds over a two-year period. Pitfall traps on beaver ponds captured 5.7 times more newly metamorphosed wood frogs, 29 times more western toads and 24 times more boreal chorus frogs than on nearby free-flowing streams.

The study identifies beaver as a valuable 'surrogate species', said University of Alberta researchers Dr. Cam Stevens (lead author) and Dr. Cindy Paszkowski. The work is published in the January 2007 issue of Biological Conservation. Surrogate species can be indicators of changes to the environment caused directly or indirectly by human activities, population changes in other species, or they can act as 'umbrellas' protecting a large number of naturally co-occurring species.

"The concept of surrogate species in conservation planning offers simple, ecologically-based solutions to help conserve and manage ecosystems," said Paszkowski, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

The beaver pond seems to provide suitable breeding habitats because of its warm, well-oxygenated water, which enhances development and growth rates of frog and toad larvae. As well, the ponds may be less hospitable to predatory fish because the dams are often located on small streams where winterkill conditions are common, the study suggests.

The findings could benefit amphibian conservation efforts for forestry and energy industries, by making room for beaver dams in their landscape-use plans, the researchers said.

"The challenge will be to promote modest levels of beaver activity even where conflicts with human interests might occur, such as areas designated for tree harvesting and landscapes with high road densities," Stevens noted.

Beaver may prove useful as a surrogate species in helping conserve frogs and toads in other remote parts of Canada's boreal forest and western North America.

The study was supported in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Beavers Helping Frogs And Toads Survive." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070110180828.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2007, January 11). Beavers Helping Frogs And Toads Survive. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070110180828.htm
University of Alberta. "Beavers Helping Frogs And Toads Survive." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070110180828.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins