Main Article Content
In Norway the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber harvest is quota-regulated. Once the annual quota for each municipality has been determined it is distributed to landowner-organized beaver management units. Municipal wildlife managers can choose between two distributional models: the traditional “areal model” whereby each management unit receives its portion of the municipal quota based on the relative area of beaver habitat within the township that it contains, or the more recently developed “linear model” based on the relative length of beaver-utilized shoreline it contains. The linear model was developed in an attempt to increase the precision of the quota distribution process and is based on the fact that beaver occupy landscapes in a linear fashion along strips of shoreline rather than exploiting extensive areas. The assumption was that the linear model would provide a more precise and just method of distributing the municipal quota among landowners. Here we test the hypothesis that the length of beaverutilized shoreline is a better predictor of beaver colony density than the area of beaver habitat on 13 beaver management units of typical size (794 – 2200 hectares) in Bø Township, Norway, during 2 years. As hypothesized, the number of beaver occupied sites on management units correlated significantly (p≤ 0.001) with the length of beaver-utilized shoreline, but not with the area of beaver habitat. Therefore municipalities should employ the linear model when a precise distribution of quotas is necessary. The density of Eurasian beaver colonies at the landscape scale (>100 km2) in south-central Scandinavia averages approximately 1 occupied site per 4 km2. This figure can be employed by municipal wildlife managers to estimate the colony density in their townships, and to calculate municipal quotas, when more precise census information is lacking.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).