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Russian Journal of Biological Invasions

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 148–164 | Cite as

Beavers (Castor fiber) of the Mordovia Nature Reserve: Population development history, current state, and prospects

  • N. A. Zavyalov
  • O. N. Artaev
  • S. K. Potapov
  • V. G. Petrosyan
Article

Abstract

Results of the long-term analysis of the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) and its settlements in the Pushta River basin and Moksha River floodplain lakes in the southeastern part of the Mordovia State Nature Reserve during the period of 1940–2013 are described. The numbers of beaver settlements and animals living there 73 years after they were reintroduced have stabilized in the ranges of 20–29 settlements and 65–96 individuals. The performed integrated analysis of environmental conditions, climate, hydrological network, and the effects of predators, diseases, spatial arrangement of settlements, size of the settlemetns, number of dams in settlements, specific foraging features, and food resources, as well as mathematical data processing using the classic models of population dynamics (Malthus, Beverton–Holt, and Ricker) and a time series analysis, suggests that the dynamics is at a climax stage with a fluctuation at low abundance level. A hypothetical theoretical qualitative model of the long-term beaver population dynamics is discussed for different restoration rates of food resources. Using this model, it is shown that typical of the population dynamics in the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve and Oksky Nature Reserve as well as Allegheny National Forest is a high restoration rate of food resources (type I dynamics). On the other hand, characteristic of the population dynamics in the Lapland, Il’menskii, PechoraIlych, and Mordovia nature reserves is a low restoration rate of food resources (type II dynamics). It is inferred that the further development of the beaver population in the Mordovia Nature Reserve will mainly depend on the functional (the rate of food restoration in abandoned habitats as well as the growth scale and rate of black alder stands in the abandoned beaver settlements) and random (cold winters, winter floods, and droughts) factors influencing the beaver population dynamics in the nature reserve.

Keywords

reintroduction Eurasian beaver abundance settlements mathematical and hypothetical theoretical model prediction 

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. A. Zavyalov
    • 1
  • O. N. Artaev
    • 2
  • S. K. Potapov
    • 2
  • V. G. Petrosyan
    • 3
  1. 1.Rdeysky State Nature ReserveKholmRussia
  2. 2.Mordovia State Nature ReservePushta, Temnikovo District, Republic of MordoviaRussia
  3. 3.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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