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

The Martinez Beavers

Ecosystem Services

Share the beaver gospel!

Nature’s Benefits: The Importance of Addressing Biodiversity in Ecosystem Service Programs

Defenders of Wildife (who in addition to making a HUGE difference, was kind enough to donate 200 copies of their magazine on Sherri Tippie for our last festival) has a fantastic paper on ecosystem services and how we should factor the services of wildlife when discussing what to do. I mention it because you-know-what provides excellent ecosystem services, and is offered as their final case study in Yellowstone.

The recovery of the ecosystem is still in the early stages. (Ripple and Beschta, 2012). However, beaver activity has the potential to provide the following benefits:

• Reduce water temperatures and improve habitat foraquatic organisms.
• Improve habitat for fish by providing a source ofdetritus and woody debris.
• Increase riparian plant diversity and songbird habitat.
• Increase waterfowl, amphibians, reptiles, muskrat and river otter populations.
• Reduce excess amounts of sediment and organic material in surface runoff.
• Reduce steam bank erosion.
• Increase carbon storage in plant biomass and soils.
• Recharge the water table, increase water storage and wetland acreage (Gilgert and Zack, 2010)

Nicely done! The beavers in Yellowstone are getting some excellent press, that’s for sure. Lets hope there’s a interpretive ranger on hand that is equally  committed to showing off flow devices too. You can check out the entire report online here.

Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife posted this video yesterday of their annual meeting in April. It’s a presentation performed by their intern Susan Hendler. Enjoy!

And today is the auspicious occasion of the very first EcoFest in Komoko Ontario!  Aspen Valley Sanctuary will be on hand to talk beavers with lots of other displays and vendors. We wish everyone a sunny, festive, well-attended exhaustion of a day!