Because the beaver isn't just an animal; it's an ecosystem!

The Martinez Beavers

Beavers and Geese and Thieves, Oh My!

Share the beaver gospel!

Great news this morning from researcher Glynnis Hood who has the magic touch when it comes to getting the media to report why beavers matter. Seems she’s just published some new research on how active beaver ponds increase geese reproduction. Go Glynnis!

Busy Beavers Give Canada Geese a Lift, Study Shows

Ponds in Alberta where beavers were active tended to result in earlier thaw of winter snowpack, giving the geese a better chance at reproductive success. (Credit: © Little Tomato Studio / Fotolia

Ponds in Alberta where beavers were active tended to result in earlier thaw of winter snowpack, giving the geese a better chance at reproductive success, according to the study, published recently in Mammalian Biology.

The study is the first to link beavers to early season nesting habits of Canada geese in a Northern climate.

A team led by Glynnis Hood, an associate professor in the Department of Science at the U of A’s Augustana Campus, surveyed 32 active and 39 inactive beaver ponds at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park in east-central Alberta.

Nice! I don’t know what surprises me less: That beavers help geese or that Glynnis found a way to prove it. I don’t know how many more species beavers would need to be proven to help before folks start to think that the reverse is true. (I.E. If beavers help geese and frogs and salmon and birds then removing beavers hurts geese and frogs and salmon and birds.)

Let’s get some funding for that research?

Now for some fun news and a complaint. Fun news is that I received Sherri Tippie’s Wildlife 2000 newsletter yesterday with this photo on the cover, reminding me that the project we’ve been expecting for over a year now is nearly due. The film by Dawna Trebicz and Jari Osborne is due next month, but I’ve been chatting with them about the project since 2011. At one point they were even considering buying Moses’ footage of our beavers. The movie will follow 7 “Beaver Whisperers” including Sherri Tippie, Glynnis Hood, Michele LeClair (an earlier flow device installer in Canada) and others. It will air in Canada first but we should get to see it too eventually. I’ll keep you posted but if you want to read all about it and Sherri’s starring role you should subscribe to her newsletter here. You won’t regret it!

Sherri Tippie, beaver kit and fllmmaker Jari Osborne

And finally my annual complaint of the apparent rash of beaver photo swiping from the website. In the broadest sense it is true that we like to share, and some of Chery’s excellent photos are on wikipedia so anyone can use them, but I like our friends to let us know before they promote their activities with the Martinez Beavers. To be clear, there is a “right way” and a “wrong way” to feature some one else’s photos on your website. The “right way” just points to the photo that is already on the other person’s site. Like the geese picture above for example. That’s what we usually do here. It’s like opening a html window up on your own site that points to exactly what you want people to see. I never consider this stealing, because it is not.

The other way which I am much less happy about, is to download the photo and appropriate it onto your own site or graphics yourself. I am never ever happy when this happens unless folks ask. Just so you know we have never said no when asked. Here are two recent examples:


Consider this a reminder that the website isn’t a grocery store after Katrina and you should not walk down the isles picking and choosing what to loot. I’ve tried to make this simpler by offering this easy template.

Dear _____

We really like the photo you posted on  _______ of ______ and would like to feature it on our ______.  Would that be okay with you?

Sincerely ______

Just sayin’