Dr Ruairidh Campbell
I joined WildCRU in 2002 to research and monitor the release of two families of Eurasian beavers into a fenced wetland reserve in Kent. Since then I have worked on a variety of projects including population monitoring of small mammals (rodents and shrews), the impacts of farming practices on bats and the economic impacts of a beaver reintroduction in Britain. Currently I am writing my DPhil thesis on the behavioural ecology of Eurasian beavers in association with Frank Rosell at Telemark University College in Norway. The Telemark project has been collecting data on the beavers on three rivers in Telemark for over 10 years and I first joined the project in 2000. My thesis title is 'Philopatry and territoriality in the Eurasian beaver' and will include chapters on climatic effects, survival, reproduction territoriality and sociality in the Telemark beavers. Beavers are of huge ecological importance due to their damming and foraging activities and have been reintroduced back into many parts of their former range in Europe, initially in order to preserve the species as it neared extinction, but later as an ecological restoration device. Beavers are also extremely interesting model species for behavioural ecology: They are highly territorial and philopatric (offspring stay at home if they cannot find a territory of their own) and they are fairly amenable (for a fairly large mammal) to being studied in the wild. It is therefore my hope that my research will both inform the management of the Eurasian beaver and examine fundamental theories in animal behaviour and ecology. I have also set out the monitoring protocols for the Scottish Beaver Trial and I am part of the WildCRU team that will be monitoring the trial.
My research interests include effects of climate on herbivores, territorial behaviour and the factors that influence the location and size of territories, influences on dispersal decisions and philopatry, factors affecting reproductive decisions and the management and conservation of species.
ProjectsPhilopatry and territoriality in the Eurasian beaver
PublicationsTool-Use in a Display Behaviour by Eurasian Beavers (Castor Fiber)
Economic Impacts of the Beaver
What Has the Beaver Got to Do with the Freshwater Mussel Decline? A Response to Rudzīte (2005)
Territory and Group Sizes in Eurasian Beavers: Echoes of Settlement and Reproduction? Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology