A discussion with Leila Philip, author of a fascinating new book on how ‘one weird rodent’ shaped the continent's past and could greatly improve its environmental future.
Jim and readers might enjoy this three-minute video of a rescue beaver building a "dam" of whatever he can find in a home at Christmas (yes, there's a tree):
p.s. Thanks for nice interview. Happy New Year!
you can have a wildlife bonanza in your back yard! :
The Rewilding Insitute website:
The Rewilding Institute first serves wild Nature. But to serve wild Nature, we serve North America’s wonderful grassroots conservation community. We do not compete with other conservation groups, and we strive to share credit. Our projects are geared to provide that support. Rewilding Institute Projects are summarized below; more information is available or forthcoming on other pages on this website.
Mission: To develop and promote the ideas and strategies to advance continental-scale conservation in North America, particularly the need for large carnivores and a permeable landscape for their movement, and to offer a bold, scientifically credible, practically achievable, and hopeful vision for the future of wild Nature and human civilization in North America.
Key to the meaning and history of the word “rewilding” and the work of rewilding is the origin of the word and the work.
"Some 30 years ago, Dave Brower was promoting Global CPR (Conserve – Protect – Restore) and ecological restoration was being widely promoted. Ecological restoration was about restoring the ecological process (such as making a wetland) but not so concerned with the native species that may have been lost. I meant rewilding to instead be about wilderness restoration – restoring wildness with native species and processes. So, let us all remember that rewilding comes from wilderness recovery (or restoration)."
(Listen to Dave talk about Rewilding on Episode 1 of the Rewilding Earth Podcast)
The Rewilding Institute Program Executive Summary:
Current scientific research and theory, and conservation experience tell us that, to do serious conservation in North America, we must do conservation on the scale of North America. Furthermore, history, policy analysis, and conservation experience tell us that, to be effective in conservation work of all kinds, we must be guided by vision, strategy, and hope.
The Rewilding Institute is producing educational materials on the need for rewilding: the recovery of top predators and their wild habitats.This outreach program is essential for effective conservation campaigning and for resistance to attacks on both wild places and conservation law and policy.
more beaver lore!
have a nice weekend Fallows' family!
(see also interesting articles on "rewilding")
"Beavers reintroduced to parts of England and Wales"
BBC, 12 February 2021
Beavers are set to be reintroduced in record numbers at sites in England and Wales.
Wildlife trusts in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Montgomeryshire and the Isle of Wight are to release 20 animals into the wild.
Beavers were hunted to extinction in Britain in the 16th Century for their fur, meat, and scent glands.
It is hoped the semi-aquatic mammal could restore wetland habitats and boost other species.
Dorset Wildlife Trust has already released a pair of beavers this week, following an absence of 400 years and a beaver pair bred in Essex last year.
Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has said it intends to release a pair of beavers and their kits - baby beavers - into a 47-hectare (116 acre) enclosed area in Willington Wetlands reserve in the Trent Valley which it hopes will help with flood defences in the area.
Wildlife Trust chief executive Craig Bennett said: "The benefits for people are clear - beavers help stop flooding downstream, filter out impurities and they create new homes for otters, water voles and kingfishers."
...More schemes are expected in 2022, including the first urban beavers, which will be introduced into an enclosure in a 12-hectare (30 acre) site in central Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
The Wildlife Trusts want the government to make beavers a legally protected species in England, and make funding available for landowners and local management groups to reintegrate the species.
Beavers will figure out how to build and sail boats, in order to get to Hawaii. They didn't realize there was another state beyond the ocean, but now that they know, they're determined to go.
The author is a superb speaker, with a great voice.
I will be buying a couple of books, one for me--I find smart critters with hands to be fascinating, and their ecological work gives them a whole 'nother dimension--and one for my best friend, who lives outside of Albany, near the Mohawk River, where beavers are hard at work with their waterscaping.
Perhaps beavers could revive the waters in my neighborhood. The headwaters of a brook that flows by my house were decapitated in 1969-70, by the building of a clover leaf. The brook is a fragment of its former self, the peat underlying the nearby land is dying, and the land is sinking.
A friend of mine recently moved to an area with a lot of beavers, and a lot of trees that are now parallel to the ground thanks to their efforts. I was amazed at the neat--attractive!--job that the beavers do on the trees. They could sculpt wood, if they would develop the interest.
Here is an interesting update comment from a reader:
>> Are Beavers Good or Bad for Trout? It Depends. . . - Orvis News
The big knock on beavers in northern Wisconsin has always been their impact on trout and trout fishing. In high-elevation streams and rivers out West beaver dams can be good for trout, as the attached explains, but in flat lowland creeks like those here the opposite has long been thought to be true. And to some extent it is, which is why our DNR is so committed to blowing up beaver dams.
But as this article finally gets around to explaining, recent research has shown that trout are surprisingly adept at swimming through and around dams, which are a lot more porous than the experts previously thought. Which just goes to show we don;t always "know" what we think we know about beavers-- and much else. <<