Beavers see a boom in believers

A beaver swims at the Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota. Credit: Kirsten Brennan/USFWS

Landowners don’t always welcome beavers on their properties. These ecosystem engineers may change the landscape in ways that landowners didn’t have in mind. But a growing group of backers of beavers (Castor canadensis) see the mammals as helpful in restoring damaged landscapes, providing buffers against drought and reducing erosion.

“Beavers, you might say, are having a moment,” writes the New York Times. “In Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming, the Bureau of Land Management is working with partners to build beaver-like dams that they hope real beavers will claim and expand. In California, the new state budget designates about $1.5 million a year to restoring the animals for climate resiliency and biodiversity benefits.”

Read more in the New York Times.