The website about the beavers at the district Emsland (Lower Saxony, Germany)
An Elbe beaver at the river Elbe. Since more than 20 years beavers live again along the river Hase at the district Emsland (state Lower Saxony) after the animals have been re-introduced in 1990. This appears to be reason enough to dedicate a whole website to these animals.
The first beavers have been released at the river Hase near Lehrte on October 1990 within a research project on the
resource utilisation of a semi-aquatic mammal
by Mrs. Dr. B. Klenner-Fringes at the former
working group Ethology (via Wayback Machine 2007)
under the direction of Prof. Dr. R. Schröpfer of the
faculty of Biology at the University of Osnabrück.
From this starting point the animals disperse little by little along the rivers Hase and Ems and their tributaries.
Today beavers are present between Herzlake and Meppen along the river Hase as well as between Emsbüren and Sustrum along the river Ems.
The re-introduction of this animal species at the district Emsland can thus be seen as a success.
Population development of the beaver in the district Emsland since 1990
A short overview on the development of the beaver population in the district Emsland from the start of the re-introduction until
the middel of the year 2014 can be found in the paper Ramme, S. & Klenner-Fringes, B. (2014):
Zur Wiederansiedlung des Bibers (Castor fiber albicus) im Emsland.
- Säugetierkundliche Informationen 9: 165 - 274. (pdf, 4,5 MB, German with English summary) printed in the journal
of the working group Artenschutz Thüringen.
An overview about the population development over time and the current status of beavers throughout Lower Saxony can be found in our article Ramme, S. & Klenner-Fringes, B. (2020): Biber in Niedersachsen. - Säugetierkundliche Informationen 11: 253 - 272 (pdf, 8,6 MB, German with English summary).
During the last years on several occaisons we did some presentations about the beavers in the district Emsland as well. An overview on the different talks can be found here (page in German language).
About this website
On the following pages you will find general informations on the
of the beaver as well as further informations on the
re-introduction and population development
of the beaver in the district Emsland. Furthermore, you can find a list of scientific literature references on several
aspects of the life of the beaver.
In a short tutorial we will try to illustrate and explain the signs of beaver activity you may encounter in the field. In that tutorial we will furthermore try to describe the differences between the three very similar species beaver (Castor fiber), coypu (Myocastor coypus) and muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus).
If you have made some own beaver observations at the district Emsland, you can use our distribution map to check if this occurence is already known. If this is not the case, you can - if your time permits and if you feel like - communicate your discovery to us via our contact form. Your account will be incorporated in our distribution map after verification by us.
We also appreciate notes and messages on beavers found dead. You can also communicate such findings via our contact form to us. By analysing the finding of such carcasses it is possible to determine areas (like road bridges, weirs etc.) which pose a high risk for the animals to get killed. Based on these data we might be able to submit recommendations to make changes to those areas which will make them less dangerous for the beavers in the future.
A list with related links concerning beavers may provide the visitors of our website some further possibilities to learn more about this fascinating animal.
Brigitte Klenner-Fringes & Stefan Ramme
Films and Documentations
360° – Die GEO-Reportage: Biber, die Baumeister an der Elbe
Sendetermin: 28. 03. 2021, 19:30 Uhr auf ARTE
Ein Film von Bernadette Hauke.
A documentation about the beaver conservation efforts in Germany based on the remnant beaver population at the river Elbe (in German).
The film can be watched at the ARTE-Mediathek until the 26th of April 2021.
- 360° – Die GEO-Reportage: Biber, die Baumeister an der Elbe
- Vladimir Ivanovich Grevtsev, another important Russian beaver researcher, died in mid-September 2020. In his scientific career, Dr. Grevtsev was mainly concerned with the monitoring and regulation of beaver hunting. An obituary by Dr. Alexander P. Saveljev & Karl Andreas Nitsche (pdf; 295 kb; in German).
- Almost one year after the death of Prof. Dr. Schröpfer, Vladimir Georgewich Safonov, another important scientist who spent his life studying beaver biology, passed away at the beginning of June 2020. An obituary by Dr. Alexander P. Saveljev, Prof. Dr. Michael Stubbe & Karl-Andreas Nitsche (pdf; 3.2 MB; in German).
- On 16 July 2019, Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Schröpfer died unexpectedly at the age of 79. Without Mr. Schröpfer's efforts in the realisation of the project to resettle beavers at the river Hase, there would be no beavers in the Emsland region today. |>> more|
- The following review (pdf; 624 kb; in German) by Karl-Andreas Nitsche refers to the book "Der Biber - Biologie, Schutz und Management eines Ökosystemingenieurs" by E. Simon, published by Ulmer-Verlag in 2020.
- In his book "Dessau und die Elbebiber" (Dessau and the Elbe Beavers), published at the beginning of 2021, Karl-Andreas Nitsche provides information about the beavers in and around Dessau - a short summary of the contents can be found here (pdf; 335 kb; in German).
- Here you can find a review (pdf; 204.3 kb) of the recently published book Zahner, V.; Schmidbauer, M.; Schwab, G. & Angst, C. (2020): Der Biber: Baumeister mit Biss. - Süd-Ost Verlag, Regenstauf. by Karl-Andreas Nitsche.
- In his book Wiederansiedlungen von Bibern in Deutschland. Karl-Andreas Nitsche (2020) gives an overview of all known previous beaver resettlements in Germany. |>> more|
- The book Historische Nachrichten über Biber in Deutschland. by Karl-Andreas Nitsche (2020) summarizes prehistoric and historical findings and news from historical sources on beaver occurrences in Germany. |>> more|
- In his new book Biber – Eine Dokumentation zur Kulturgeschichte. Karl-Andreas Nitsche (2020) shows on 300 pages a total of 1557 illustrations, which in one way or another depict beavers. |>> more|
- In his recently published book Nitsche, K.A. (2020): Biber-Forschung in Deutschland von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart – Bilder und Dokumente. Karl-Andreas Nitsche gives an overview of historical and contemporary beaver research in Germany. |>> more|
- In addition to this, Karl-Andreas Nitsche has also published a compilation of the large number of contributions dealing with beavers in Germany in his book Nitsche, K.A. (2020): Bibliografie der Biber-Literatur in Deutschland. |>> more|
Beaver bank lodge at the Fullener Wald in spring.