The beaver is one of nature’s most skillful architects, but it doesn’t just create lodges for its own toothy kin. The dams this engineering rodent builds can create water storage ponds that provide habitat for entire communities of wildlife, and ensure streams flow even when there is little rain and snowfall. As climate change warms up the earth and dries out valleys across the West, beavers have become an increasingly important ally in helping natural communities adapt.
The Grand Canyon Trust is a 2011 recipient of a WCS Climate Adaptation Fund grant, provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The group is working to reintroduce beavers in dozens of stream segments in Southern Utah, and tracking the benefits they provide to local ecosystems.
This article was written and published by Wildlife Conservation Society.