A beaver feeding in the water

European beaver

European beavers have come back from the edge of extinction. These large rodents were found all across Europe and Asia until the beginning of the 20th century when numbers in the wild were estimated at around 1,000 - unfortunately beavers were highly prized for their fur and castoreum, the chemical they use for marking territory, communicating and water-proofing. Programmes of reintroduction and protection have seen beaver populations re-establish, most recently in Scotland following their reintroduction in 2001. As with their American cousins, Europe's beavers can have a tremendous impact on ecosystems, as they build dams that alter water flow and depth.

Scientific name: Castor fiber

Rank: Species

Common names:

Eurasian beaver

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The European beaver can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the European beaver distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Increasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Rodents
  6. Castoridae
  7. Beavers
  8. European beaver

BBC News about European beaver

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