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Is new spread of the European beaver in Pannonian basin an evidence of the species recovery?

Alexander Čanády
  • Corresponding author
  • Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, P.J. Šafárik University,Šrobárova 2, SK-041 54 Košice, Slovakia
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/ Peter Krišovský
  • Corresponding author
  • The East Slovak Museum Košice, Námestie Maratónu mieru 2, SK-040 01 Košice, Slovakia
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Bálint Bajomi
  • Corresponding author
  • Independent scholar, H-1118, Tűzkő utca 1., VI. em. 19., Budapest, Hungary
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Attila Huber
  • Corresponding author
  • Aggtelek National Park Directorate, H-3758 Jósvafő, Tengerszem oldal 1., Hungary
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/ Dávid Czabán
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Wildlife Biology and Ethology, Kaposvár University, H-7400, Kaposvár, Guba Sándor u, Hungary
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  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Milan Olekšák
  • Corresponding author
  • Slovak Karst National Park Administration, Biely kaštieľ 188, SK-049 51 Brzotín, Slovakia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2016-12-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/eje-2016-0015


Abstract: During fieldwork from 6 June to 20 July 2016, the first records of the European beaver (Castor fiber) in south-eastern Slovakia were made. Beavers are mainly nocturnal animals, and as such, they are rarely observed; therefore, our observations were based on searching for beaver presence signs: damaged trees, dams, signs of food consumption (chewed/felled trees) and footprints in the mud. The southern part of the Košická kotlina basin, from the city of Košice down to the state border and the surrounding villages in Hungary, was checked. We found two beaver locations via feeding signs in the vicinity of the Slovakia–Hungary state border, at the villages of Milhosť (Miglécnémeti) and Buzica (Buzita), in Slovakia. According to our calculations, the present total beaver population in Hungary is between 4,000 and 5,000 and 14,600–18,300 beavers with potential support. For Slovakia, we estimated the potential population size to be 7,700–9,600. Our findings in northern Pannonian lowland (Slovakia–Hungary border) are an important evidence of beaver expansion. Although we don’t know the exact origin of investigated population, these new records indicate the possibility of merging the populations of different origin, which could enable gene flow and increase the genetic diversity. This could lead to improved recovery of species and its stabilisation in nature. However, it is necessary to carry out a detailed investigation of the presence of beaver in these regions in future.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: Castor fiber; south-eastern Slovakia; Hungary; migration; first record; rewilding; comeback; spread


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About the article

Published Online: 2016-12-30

Published in Print: 2016-12-01

Citation Information: European Journal of Ecology, ISSN (Online) 1339-8474, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/eje-2016-0015.

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© 2016 A. Čanády et al.. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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