Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 887–893 | Cite as

Experimental habitat scenting inhibits colonization by beaver,Castor canadensis

  • R. Gregory Welsh
  • D. Muller-Schwarze
Article

Abstract

Unoccupied beaver (Castor canadensis) sites in New York State were for two years experimentally scented with a mixture of beaver castoreum and anal gland secretion. These sites were colonized less often than unscented control sites. The beaver is the first mammal to have been shown experimentally to use intraspecific odor cues when settling in vacant habitat. Territorial pheromones may be useful as repellents for beaver or other rodents.

Key words

Adirondacks beaver Castor canadensis castoreum nuisance beaver odors pheromone repellent scent marking territory wildlife damage 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aleksiuk, M. 1968. Scent mound communication, territoriality, and population regulation in the beaver.J. Mammal. 49:759–762.Google Scholar
  2. Berk, J. Van Den, andMuller-Schwarze, D. 1984. Responses of wild muskrats (Ondatrazibethicus L.) to scented traps.J. Chem. Ecol. 10:1411–1415.Google Scholar
  3. Bollinger, K.S., Hododon, H.E., andKennelly, J.J. 1983. Factors affecting weight and volume of castor and anal glands of beaver (Castor canadensis).Acta Zool. Fenn. 174:115–116.Google Scholar
  4. Butler, R.G., andButler, L.A. 1979. Towards a functional interpretation of scent marking in the beaver (Castor canadensis).Behav. Neural Biol. 26:442–454.Google Scholar
  5. Collins, T.C. 1976. Population characteristics and habitat relationships of beavers,Castor canadensis, in northwest Wyoming. PhD thesis. University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming.Google Scholar
  6. Ewer, R.F. 1968. Ethology of Mammals. Plenum, New York. 418 pp.Google Scholar
  7. Gronneberg, T.O. 1979. Analysis of a wax ester fraction from the anal gland secretion of beaver (Castor fiber) by chemical ionization mass spectrometry.Chem. Scr. 13:56.Google Scholar
  8. Hodgdon, H.E. 1978. Social dynamics and behavior within an unexploited beaver (Castor canadensis) population. PhD Thesis. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 292 pp.Google Scholar
  9. Krebs, J.R. 1976. Bird Song and Territorial Defense.New Sci. 70:534–536.Google Scholar
  10. Larson, J.S., andGunson, J.R. 1983. Status of the beaver in North America.Acta Zool. Fenn. 174:91–93.Google Scholar
  11. Lederer, E. 1949. Chemistry and biochemistry of some mammalian secretions and excretions.J. Chem. Soc. (London) 1949, Part III, 2115–2125.Google Scholar
  12. Libby, W.L. 1957. Observations on beaver movements in Alaska.J. Mammal. 38:269.Google Scholar
  13. Muller-Schwarze, D., andHeckman, S. 1980. The social role of scent marking in beaver (Castor canadensis).J. Chem. Ecol. 6:81–95.Google Scholar
  14. Muller-Schwarze, D., Heckman, S. andStagge, B. 1983. Behavior of a free-ranging beaver (Castor canadensis) at scent marks.Acta Zool. Fenn. 174:111–113.Google Scholar
  15. Muller-Schwarze, D., Morehouse, L., Corradi, R., Zhao, Cheng-Hua, andSilverstein, R.M. 1986. Odor images: Responses of beaver to castoreum fractions, pp. 561–570,in D. Duvall, D. Muller-Schwarze, and R. M. Silverstein (eds.). Chemical Signals in Vertebrates, Vol. IV: Ecology, Evolution, and Comparative Biology. Plenum, New York.Google Scholar
  16. Mykytowycz, R., Hesterman, E.R., Gambale, S., andDudzinsky, M.L. 1976. A comparison of the effectiveness of the odors of rabbits,Oryctolagus cuniculus, in enhancing territorial confidence.J. Chem. Ecol. 2:13–24.Google Scholar
  17. Nordstrom, W.R. 1972. Comparison of trapped and untrapped beaver populations in New Branswick. MS thesis. University of New Brunswick, Fredericton. 104 pp.Google Scholar
  18. Parsons, G. 1978. Effect of four-year closure of trapping season for beaver in Fulton County.N.Y. Fish Game J. 25(1):23–30.Google Scholar
  19. Peterson, R.P., andPayne, N.F. 1986. Productivity, size, age, and sex structure of nuisance beaver colonies in Wisconsin.J. Wildl. Manage. 50(2):265–268.Google Scholar
  20. Svendsen, G.E. 1980. Patterns of scent-mounding in a population of beaver (Castor canadensis).J. Chem. Ecol. 6:133–148.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Gregory Welsh
    • 1
  • D. Muller-Schwarze
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and ForestryState University of New YorkSyracuse

Personalised recommendations