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EN
In this study, generic composition of food and foraging preferences of the European beaver were determined on sites where the beavers were reintroduced after more than 200 years of absence. Research area was located on lowland (Silesian Lowland) and highland habitats (Bystrzyckie Mountains, Wałbrzyskie Mountains) in western Poland. During the study period, 17,418 trees and shrubs growing within the feeding area of the beavers were marked, out of which 4,669 were found to be cut by beavers. The results showed that the foraging preferences of beavers depend on the availability and diversity of the local food sources. In the lowlands beavers preferred the following species of trees and shrubs as their primary food source: Salix cinerea, S. fragilis, S. caprea, Cornus sanguinea and Populus tremula. In the highlands, beavers preferred Corylus avellana, Sorbus aucuparia, and Fagus sylvatica due to the low availability of Salix and Populus species. Moreover, in the highlands, beavers had to cover longer distances to reach the feeding sites and had to cut trees with larger diameter than in the lowlands.
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