What a great article from Troy Alabama. I won’t say of all places because Alabama is the site of the most important fine EVER for removing a beaver dam and destroying the habitat of the rare watercress darter. Looks like the city of Troy learned nothing from their northern cousin’s misfortune.
The city of Troy tore down a beaver dam beside McKinley Drive near the walkway that connects the Edge apartment complex to campus.
Vaughn Daniels, environmental services director for the city of Troy, said the city worked with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to make sure the dam removal was environmentally safe.
The beavers were not killed, Daniels said. According to Daniels, the dam was a threat to the road.
After the beaver dam was removed, the pond it created drained.
Members of Troy University’s Environmental Club moved animals from the remains of the pond to the Lagoon.
“In one day out there doing a visual survey, we saw 3-foot grass carp, sunfishes, red-winged blackbirds, belted kingfishers, musk turtles, pond sliders, gray and green tree frogs, Eastern garter snakes, as well as a huge female great horned owl,” said Tanner Stainbrook, a senior ecology and field biology major from Huntsville and a member of the Environmental Club, in an email.
Members of the Environmental Club have voiced concern about the effects tearing down the dam will have on the area. “The big thing is that this eliminated the major wetland ecosystem in the area,” Stainbrook said. “This mud hole, in two days, will be just that. There’ll be no water left.”
Group members said they were concerned that this may harm the great horned owl’s habitat, as the owl fed on the frogs in the pond.
A university, an environmental club, and a sympathetic reporter. Something tells me these beavers might be making a splash. I spent time yesterday tracking all the major players so I could make sure they new about solutions and consequences of dam removal. I haven’t heard anything back, but I’m hopeful. And it gave me a new idea for responding to these stories. Since we review every beaver report that’s written every year, we may as well give notice to the best and the worst beaver articles of each caagory. Gradually notify contenders that they’re in the running and pick the winners in January. I already got Robin excited about the idea and she’s going to help! I took the liberty of inspiring myself for the project with some graphics this morning. Hahaha! Aren’t they fun?
A less pleasant article came out of Norway yesterday about one of the many hazards of beaver life. It’s nice to see it written about respectfully though (except for the headline).
A beaver in Norway has been crushed to death after misjudging which way the tree it was gnawing down was going to fall.
Beate Strøm Johansen, a Zoologist at the Agder Natural History museum in Kristiansand on the southern tip of Norway, was called to the scene after a local logger stumbled upon the unfortunate animal.
“This beaver has been extremely unlucky,” she told The Local. “I hope it’s not something that happens very often for the beavers’ sake.”
Johansen said that beavers normally have an uncanny ability to predict when and where a tree is likely to fall.
“When the tree is falling they have to jump aside so the tree doesn’t hit them. Instinctively, they should know where it is falling, but sometimes they don’t know which way to jump,” she explained.
I might be strange, but it seems almost kind of sweet to read this article. As if it mattered that a beaver was killed by a tree when we all know sooo many are killed on purpose. Yes trees are unpredictable, and I’m not sure beavers have any uncanny abilities to know where they’re falling except practice and luck. As the old saying goes, that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Now it’s time to invite you to the birthday Earthday event at John Muir tomorrow. The event information is here for you to print. The guest speaker is going to be Beth Pratt for the wildlife federation, the winner of the conservationist of the year is going to be our friend Camilla Fox, and the non-profit of the year is going to be our friends at the River Otter Ecology Project. My congressman is getting a lifetime legacy award, which we hope he will be able to pick up in person. At the moment my office is literally surrounded with art supplies for our ‘build your own totem’ project. Rusty from Napa is coming to help with our booth and 57 other environmental exhibits will be on hand to celebrate the day. Plus Frank Helling as John Muir, which is sooo appealing. Whatever your planning tomorrow stop right now and plan to come. It will be an amazing day.