Supervisor: Nicolas Lecomte
The damming of streams by beavers typically has a marked influence on biodiversity. This species is known in the literature as a keystone species, given the disproportionate impact it can have on their environment. However, studies on this subject had a partial coverage of the subject, because each of them is only interested in a specific part of the animal diversity that makes use of ponds created by beavers. In addition, we have little knowledge of the impact of beaver activities on biodiversity in forests in the long-term. We do not know how the influence of beaver activities changes depending on the maturation of the sites they have changed. The objective of the study is to investigate the influence of streams containment by beavers on animal biodiversity. The project will make the broadest documentation possible of animal biodiversity associated with beaver activity, using means such as the deployment of automated cameras, sound recording stations, insect traps, and small mammal traps. The study will be conducted in Kouchibouguac National Park of Canada. The beaver population of the region has benefited from a protected status since the park was established in 1969. Five decades of protection status led to a mosaic that would normally be typical of North American forests. The park contains a high density of beaver ponds of varying ages, including older ones, often abandoned by beavers, which made the transition towards swampy meadows. So the park is an ideal opportunity to study the influence of containment beaver activities in a representative natural environment, where a spatial comparison of different sites allows us to take a look on the long-term.