Theriologia Ukrainica
(former Proceedings of the Theriological School)

ISSN 2616-7379 (print) ISSN 2617-1120 (online)

2019 Vol. 17 Contents of volume >>>

download pdfMerzlikin, I. Ethological notes on the relationships between beavers and some mammal and bird species. Theriologia Ukrainica. 2019. Vol. 17: 71-79.



Ethological notes on the relationships between beavers and some mammal and bird species


Merzlikin, I.


Sumy State Pedagogical University (Sumy, Ukraine )


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2019. Vol. 17: 71-79.




Ukrainian, with English extended summary, titles of tables, captures to figs, and references


Cases of mutual relations of beavers with 16 species of mammals and 8 species of birds are described and analysed. Beavers have different contacts with lots of species of animals around the water complex, which can be often regular in different situation. The beaver can respond both indifferently and aggressively to the same situation to the same species. For small and medium-sized birds, beavers do not pay any attention at all, especially if they do not show any interest to them. Similar indifference beavers show to much larger birds herons, goose and swans. Beavers and birds get mutual benefit from the disturbing signals of each other, by which they announce danger. Beavers react immediately to the wings of the birds that take off and their alarming screams, and immediately dive into the water, not even trying to find out what threatens them. Other animals persistent interest to beavers accompanied by sounds in addition irritates beavers of course and they try to get rid it. The sudden appearance and rapid movement of other animals are perceived by beavers as a threat and they try to hide in water at once. Large animals, greatly exceeding beavers in size, are perceived by them as a potential threat. Beavers-migrants are much more alerted to other animals than beavers living on their territory for a long time. Beavers attitude towards other mammals (and birds) may largely depend on the presence of cubs nearly very nearby. In such situations the beavers may attempt to drive out other animals even of larger in size or being a real threat to them from their water body or its water-side. When driving other animals out of their territory the beavers use the following techniques: swimming near the enemy, loud blows with the tail on the water, aggressive attacks against the potential enemy and provocation of an attack by the predator followed by a fight. A specific beavers reaction to small dogs is described unfolding towards with their back to them and flapping with their tail on the ground.


Eurasian beaver, Castor fiber, behaviour, interspecies aggression, interspecies relationship, agonistic interactions.



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