The Wetlands Conservancy has been a long time admirer of the North American Beaver, a keystone species that has the single greatest impact on promoting natural ecosystem function in wetlands and riparian areas. But beaver have not always been popular. The controversy tends to center around beavers impact on changing hydrology and flooding. Historically human’s response to the flooding has focused on removing beaver dams, killing, trapping and relocating the beaver. But now, after decades of research, beaver are gaining broad acclaim and some much deserved credit for restoration rather than the destruction of aquatic systems in North America with the newly released Beaver Restoration Guidebook.
This new resource is a scientifically rigorous, yet accessible, practitioner’s guide that provides a synthesis of the best available science for using beaver to improve ecosystem functions. The book discusses the general effects that beaver dams have on physical and biological processes, common emerging restoration techniques and methods for mitigating unwanted beaver effects, and case studies from pioneering practitioners who have used many of these beaver restoration techniques in the field. The guidebook also includes a comprehensive beaver ecology library of over 1,400 references from scientific journals, “grey” literature, websites, legislation, regulations and presentations.
TWC is collaborating with the guidebook authors to add a chapter focusing on urban beaver in the next version of the book to be released next summer.