Anglia Ruskin University gets £0.5m for Arctic beaver study
by geemong

The changing habitats and behaviour of beavers as they move further north into the Arctic Circle will be examined in a new study.

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Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge has been granted £553,491 to investigate the mammals' impact as they move northwards.

Researchers want to understand their effects on the landscape, fish populations and indigenous people.

Project leader Dr Helen Wheeler said she was "delighted" to receive the sum.

The study will look at the effects of climate change and rising temperatures. The line where trees grow has moved northwards, as has the beaver, which builds dams and water pools by felling trees.

The funding, from the government-sponsored UK Research and Innovation body, will build on studies being carried out by the university in Canada's Northwest Territories looking at how beavers are changing local ecosystems.

Researchers will examine how beavers' dam-building can change landscapes by creating ponds and diverting rivers, leading to fewer fish that local people rely upon.

The number of beavers heading north of the treeline and into the Arctic, together with the amount of new ponds they are creating, have caused permafrost to melt.

This can lead to greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide being released.

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