Our Goal: Rewild & improve the resilience of watersheds in the West by reintroducing and mimicking nature’s most industrious watershed engineers – beavers.
Their nose and ear valves keep water out while diving and their third eyelids act like swimming goggles
Their teeth are as strong as iron, literally – the orange color is from iron in their tooth enamel, which makes them incredibly sharp and strong
Beaver are monogamous
The largest beaver dam ever discovered is over 800m deep and is likely to have been continuously occupied since the 70s
Beaver’s large flat tail is used as a kickstand to give them support when they are felling trees and is also used to slap water as a warning when predators are near
What WCS is doing:
WCS is tracking behaviors and patterns of beavers in Montana and Idaho that will guide rewilding. We will build dams that basically mimic what a real beaver might create (called beaver mimicry) in high elevation and climate vulnerable landscapes throughout the Rockies. The Climate Adaptation Fund has also worked with many organizations throughout North America to launch more beaver mimicry efforts to create climate resiliency in communities. These efforts have led to the beginning stages of nature-based watershed improvements all by learning from our friend, the beaver.
Riparian habitat loss, along rivers and streams, as well as human population growth threaten the ability of beaver to thrive. Increasing demands for water in a changing climate and misunderstanding the behaviors of beaver have led to beaver poisoning and trapping.
we are working to address these threats head on and rewild the beaver.
Be a Beaver Ambassador:
Learn how to make beaver mimicry dams in your watershed
Connect with a local organization who is building beaver mimicry dams near you
Learn how to reap the benefit and not the damage of beaver dams with these “beaver deceiver” designs
Become informed on beaver benefits
Beaver-created wetlands slow down the flow of streams and recharge groundwater which has many ecological, and economic benefits. They provide homes or habitats for other aquatic life and birds, improve water quality, and reduce the risk of flooding. Enhancing water storage and quality is vital in an increasingly unpredictable climate. Beaver created wetlands also play a key role in suppressing catastrophic fires by keeping the stream bottoms green and raising the humidity. This return to nature-based solutions allows the land to once again act as a sponge, slowly releasing water in the drier, hotter seasons.