Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Busy beavers give Canada geese a lift, study shows

Date:
February 13, 2013
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
A new study shows that busy beavers are helping Canada geese get an earlier start when the birds fly home and begin spring nesting.

Ponds in Alberta where beavers were active tended to result in earlier thaw of winter snowpack, giving the geese a better chance at reproductive success.
Credit: © Little Tomato Studio / Fotolia

A new University of Alberta study shows that busy beavers are helping Canada geese get an earlier start when the birds fly home and begin spring nesting.

Ponds in Alberta where beavers were active tended to result in earlier thaw of winter snowpack, giving the geese a better chance at reproductive success, according to the study, published recently in Mammalian Biology.

The study is the first to link beavers to early season nesting habits of Canada geese in a Northern climate.

A team led by Glynnis Hood, an associate professor in the Department of Science at the U of A's Augustana Campus, surveyed 32 active and 39 inactive beaver ponds at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park in east-central Alberta.

The study showed that open water occurred 10.7 days earlier in active beaver ponds, especially the water that was next to main beaver lodge entrances and food caches. As well, snowpack was on average almost six centimetres shallower in active ponds.

The activity of the beavers warmed and thawed the water, which makes it more welcoming habitat for the geese to nest, Hood said. The open water and the active ponds, which housed island lodges, provided food resources and nests away from land predators for the geese.

"Having access to safe nesting grounds and ample food is necessary for Canada geese to raise at least one set of offspring before fall migration," Hood noted.

The open water was also used by several other animals, Hood noted, including coyotes, fox, weasels, moose, deer, ravens, and other birds.

The findings reinforce earlier research indicating that beavers are a vital keystone species that contributes to the success of other wildlife and helps protect boreal wetlands against drought.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Chantal K. Bromley, Glynnis A. Hood. Beavers (Castor canadensis) facilitate early access by Canada geese (Branta canadensis) to nesting habitat and areas of open water in Canada's boreal wetlands. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift fόr Sδugetierkunde, 2013; 78 (1): 73 DOI: 10.1016/j.mambio.2012.02.009

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Busy beavers give Canada geese a lift, study shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130213132328.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2013, February 13). Busy beavers give Canada geese a lift, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130213132328.htm
University of Alberta. "Busy beavers give Canada geese a lift, study shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130213132328.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) — Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) — A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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