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Beaver habitat use and impact in Truckee River basin, California

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Wildlife Management, Volume 51, Issue 4, p.794-799 (1987)


Stepwise logistic regression was used to identify factors important for habitat use by beavers (Castor canadensis) on streams. Increasing stream width and depth and decreasing gradient had the strongest positive effects on habitat use; food availability variables added little explanatory power. Some abandoned colony sites appeared to have been located on physically unsuitable habitat, whereas others appeared to be physically suitable sites abandoned due to resource depletion. The fact that few unused or uncolonized reaches were misclassified as suitable habitat suggests that suitable habitat has been saturated. Impact of beaver on woody plants was assessed for 8 forage species. Local extinction of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) and black cottonwood (P. trichocarpa) occurred on 4-5% of stream reaches. Willow (Salix spp.) showed good vigor despite heavy use in most reaches.