Kārlis Bičkovskis

Title: “Living with beaver in urban areas”

Abstract of presentation: Beavers are known as ecosystem engineers because of their ability to create and maintain wetland ecosystems. Beavers occupy wide range of freshwater systems including ponds, streams, marches, rivers, lakes and drainage systems. Beavers are highly adaptable species and can modify many types of natural, cultivated and urban habitats to suit their needs. As urbanization continues to encroach upon natural habitats, beavers have increasingly been found in urban landscapes, presenting both opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, beavers can provide valuable ecosystem services in urban areas, such as reducing flood risk and improving water quality, and can be beneficial to climate change mitigation. On the other hand, their presence can also lead to conflicts with humans, leading to damage to property, trees, and infrastructure.  It's important to address these conflicts through effective management strategies that balance the benefits and drawbacks of beaver presence in urban areas. This has led to the development of various management techniques to mitigate the negative effects of beaver activity, including fencing, water flow devices, and relocation. Overall, finding ways to coexist with beavers in urban areas can lead to more abundant and diverse ecosystems, while also addressing the need for naturalization of urban areas to support wildlife and biodiversity.

Biography: Research assistant at Latvian State forest research institute.