Exploring Beaver Habitat in Europe:
Leningrad Oblast - Russia
The history of beaver in Europe is as interesting as it is in North America. More information on this is provided in our overview of beaver distribution in the Russian Republic of Karelia
The high resolution imagery provided by Google Earth only covers a limited area of the Republic of Leningrad. This overview provides some information of beaver activity in four areas which probably provide a reasonable representative picture of the situation.
The satellite image below gives a snapshot overview the areas in which beaver activity and presence could be determined using Google Earth:
- North Eastern Leningrad: This area shows the most striking examples of beaver dams, flooding, and tree kill caused by beaver. Significant impact on forest stands is visible. Some Canadian Beaver(Castor canadensis) may have invaded this area from Karelia.
- North Western Leningrad: Beaver activity is not as prominently visible as could have been expected. Canadian Beaver should have invaded this area from Finland. In many areas beaver activity is probable, but could not be clearly defined from Google Earth
- South Eastern Leningrad: to be completed
- South Western Leningrad:to be completed
Figure 1: Oblique Google Earth Overview of Leningrad with about over 175 place marks showing possible beaver dams and other beaver impacts. Canadian Beaver earlier re-introduced in Finland and Karelia has invaded northern parts of Leningrad an is competing with the Eurasian Beaver in the North.
Figure 2. Beaver damage on the ground is not always easily visible on Google Earth images. Damage like the trees felled by beaver in this local picture (available through Panaramio) shows damage which was not visible from GE.
Figure 3. The Google Earth High Resolution image does not clearly show the impact of the beaver damage above. The Forest canopy still covers the tree fall.
Figure 4. The same area from higher altitude (smaller scale) position. On this image taken on 22 May of 2005, the widespread flooding in the flood plain of the stream is clearly visible.