08
May

Wetland Engineer

Castor canadensis, the American Beaver, a Wetland Ecosystem Engineer By Thomas J. Slabe Wetlands throughout most of North America are highly correlated with the American beaver (Castor canadensis), which before European settlement numbered between 60 – 400 million (Seton, 1929). Today beavers number at around 6 – 12 million (Naiman et al., 1988). Butler and...
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15
Mar

Beaver Wetlands

By Sharon T. Brown and Suzanne Fouty Effects Upon Wildlife and WaterA half-mile-long beaver dam in Canada made international news recently when satellite photos clearly showed the impact of Castor canadensis upon the earth. The beaver is one of the few species, besides humans, that build structures, such as the huge dam in Canada’s Wood...
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15
Mar

Beavers Open Savings Accounts

Wetlands, especially Peatlands, Store Carbon Best If you canoe or kayak often, you’ve probably paddled by boggy areas with carnivorous pitcher plants — and signs of beaver nearby. Beaver dams on streams adjacent to boggy peatlands can help keep them water-logged, and safeguard the enormous amount of carbon stored there. Wetlands, and especially peatlands, are...
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08
Dec

Droughts/Floods

Over millennia, glaciers and beaver, in large part, constructed the drainage system of North America. Ruedemann and Schoonmaker (1938), both geomorphologists, advanced this seminal idea based on their studies of streams in the Adirondack Mountains. The two scientists observed that the floodplains were stair-stepped-rather than gradually sloped­ along the stream. Realizing that this pattern would...
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28
Oct

Rising Extinction

1. Beaver Dams Good for Birds The songbird has a friend in the beaver. According to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the busy beaver’s signature dams provide critical habitat for a variety of migratory songbirds, particularly in the semi-arid interior of the West. Researchers found that through dam building, beavers create ponds...
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08
Jul

Saving Habitats and Lives

Seven Steps to Winning for Wildlife  Delaware Activists’ Plan Saves Beavers and Canada Geese  By Bob Leonard Read the full article:  How Conservation Easements Save Habitats and Lives After a mid-life reassessment and the death of a close animal companion in 1998, I wanted to do more than just support animal organizations financially. That fall I...
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15
Apr

Beaver Believers

A Feature Documentary The Beaver Believers is a feature documentary that tells the urgent yet whimsical story of an unlikely cadre of activists – a biologist, a hydrologist, a botanist, an ecologist, a psychologist, and a hairdresser – who share a common vision: restoring the North American Beaver, the most industrious, ingenious, bucktoothed little engineer,...
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15
Apr

Beaver Restoration

Leave It To Beavers In Washington By Hannelore Sudermann As we crunch through the snow in the hills above Winthrop, Steve Bondi 02 and Ryan Anderson ’08 are eager to see evidence that their project to improve riparian habitat and provide late-season water to the Methow Valley is working. They’re building dams, but with the...
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28
Feb

BWW Awards Scottish Beaver Group

BWW Gives Award to Scottish Beaver Advocates Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife, an environmental nonprofit based in New York, recently presented an award to Paul and Louise Ramsay for their decade of work to restore beavers to Scotland. Owen and Sharon Brown, leaders of Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife (BWW), traveled to Scotland and presented the award,...
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21
Aug

Fish and Dams

People and Fish Terry Lee, who’s been a water resource specialist for 25 years, has an innovative solution for today’s problem of more frequent and severe floods: let nature’s engineers restore natural water storage. Like other planners nationwide, Lee must cope with a landscape that’s lost much floodplain storage, just as extreme weather events are...
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