Our title may seem a bit melodramatic, but the science keeps piling up and it forces us to make the broad statement: beavers really can save the world.
We spoke with experts earlier this year about how beavers create and maintain ground water, making them natural drought-busters. And with California facing a significant drought causing economic and ecological crises, even the climatologists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab have said beavers should be part of the solution.
This week, web-based magazine Gizmodo wrote about another one of the beaver’s amazing natural talents: cleaning up nitrogen. The article, penned by Esther Inglis-Arkell, cites a study published last month in the Journal of Environmental Quality titled “Beaver Ponds: Resurgent Nitrogen Sinks for Rural Watersheds in the Northeastern United States.”
In it, the scientists showed that the presence of beaver ponds reduced nitrates in soil by up to 45 per cent in their study area. As farmers rely on nitrate-rich soils in which to grow their crops, the nitrogen works its way into fresh water sources. This creates hazards to the environment including unnaturally high algae yields, leading to so-called “dead zones” in creeks, rivers, lakes, and even oceans.
Beavers can literally save us from ourselves. Isn’t it only fair that we do everything we can to protect them?
Thousands of beavers are trapped when considered “nuisances” by landowners, or solely for their fur, every year. The Fur-Bearers have several sustainable, low-cost solutions that can protect infrastructure and landscapes beavers favour, as well as beaver families themselves. Your support makes our Living With Wildlife campaign possible. Help us continue to protect beaver families by becoming a monthly member for as little as $5/month (the cost of a single latte).