Friday, 25 September 2009

Beaver Experts Unite

I've been in Lithuania since Sunday at the 5th International Beaver Symposium. These happen every three years and are a special opportunity for people working on this amazing species to get together and compare notes. I've met some of my idols and even managed to impress them enough to get some collaborative research opportunities so watch this space!
So what happened when 105 beaver experts from across Europe, Russia and North America got together?
There were a whole lot of presentations about research, reintroductions and beaver management...
Plenty of exciting discussions and ideas being floated around...
A fair bit of feasting on Lithuanian specialities (which ment a lot of cabbage, buck wheat and meat... and starving vegetarians!)...
A spot of dancing to a traditional Lithuanian Folk Band (that's me in the jeans being twirled about at speed by an enthusiastic Lithuanian bloke!)...
Outrageous consumption of alcohol until the small hours of the morning...
Fascinating field trips to see beaver sites (unfortunately putting 105 hungover/still drunk ecologists on a stuffy coach and driving them down lithuanian roads was not very wise!)...
And a bit of sight seeing in Vilnius to round off the trip.
We even visited the Geographical Centre of Europe!
And now I'm curled up on the sofa with the pooches :o)

4 comments:

Claire said...

Wow, I had no idea that there were specific symposia for beaver researchers. I mean, I thought it would have been covered under broader mammalian/ecology types of conferences. Looks like it was in a lovely location. I loved the logo on the symposium sign, but I thought there should have been at least one picture of a real beaver for us to see. I suppose they are rather elusive animals and perhaps not too keen on being photographed.

Martinez said...

Claire! What a delight to find this post. We have been reviewing highlights from the conference via our "foreign correspondent" Alex Hiller who attended. It's wonderful to read about your memories of it too! We'd love to hear from you, www.martinezbeavers.org.
Heidi

Jenny Holden said...

Thanks for visiting my blog Heidi! I couldn't leave a comment on yours as it said "comments closed." I really ought to just say that there is an "official" beaver blog which will also have a bit about the conference early next week. http://blog.scottishbeavers.org.uk/

Martinez said...

Jenny, thanks so much for posting back. We were cautious about comments back in the controversial days, but you can always get a hold of me directly. (Sorry I addressed the post to Claire), thanks SO much for the weblink, did you ever see the ceremony we had at this years beaver festival in honor of the trial? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGAArAIKb0Q I tried to get a hold of let your group know, but couldn't get anyone directly. By the way, do you have any suggestions for specific water quality tests that would look at conditions likely to affect beavers? Let me know if you do, mtzbeavers@gmail.com. How are things going with the salmon-fearful over there? There's some great research from the NOAA about salmon benefitting from beavers, I'm sure you know about it. I keep trying to plug it though! Heidi