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Research shows that industry “borrows” benefit beavers and Wolverine



Research shows that industry

According to a new study, beavers in northern Alberta are digging houses in their industrial pits to provide materials for road construction. Image source: A. Colton

According to a new study by ecologists at the University of Alberta, beavers and Wolverines in northern Alberta are using industrially created borrow pits as houses and foraging grounds.


The study examined the relationship between local wildlife and borrow pits, and the soil, gravel, or sand dug in these places was used to build roads. The results showed that after re-vegetation, these sites provided shelter for beavers, thus supporting the survival of Wolverine.

Co-author of the study, Mark Boyce, chairman of the Alberta Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation Association, said: “The pits have improved the habitat of various wildlife in the swamps of northern Alberta.”

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“Deep water and nearby forage have created an excellent habitat for beavers. When beavers prey, Wolverine thrives. They not only prey on beavers, but also show that Wolverine uses beaver lodges as a nesting place for cubs.”

Boyce explained that replacing wild animals and plants through industrial development is a complex issue.

“In this case, industrial development has created borrowed pits that are now being used by beavers, and actually increased the habitat for our wilderness symbol Wolverine.”

The research was led by a doctor. Student Matthew Scrafford, who established a partnership with Dene Tha’First Nation, which has played an important role in this research.

Boyce pointed out: “The most important partner in this research is Dani Ta’ First Nations.” “Several young people in the area are passionate about the project. They have played a role in establishing traps and supporting our research.”

The research was funded by the Alberta Conservation Association, Alberta Fishermen’s Association and Husky Energy Corporation.

The study was published in “Usage of Beaver (Castor canadensis) in an industrial landscape in northwest Alberta”. Environmental Management Magazine.


Beaver is a diverse forest landscape designer


More information:
Matthew A. Scrafford et al. Beaver (Castor canadensis) uses borrow pits in an industrial landscape in northwest Alberta, Environmental Management Magazine (2020). DOI: 10.1016 / j.jenvman.2020.110800

Provided by the University of Alberta

Citations: Research shows (July 3, 2020) that industrialized “women” beavers and Wolverine retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2020-07-industrial-pits-benefit-beavers-wolverines.html to 2020 July 3,

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