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Because beavers are nocturnal animals, daytime sighting are rare, but look for them at dawn and dusk.

ver dams in this area, creating large wetlands with abundant willows. Beaver chewing actually stimulates re-growth of fast-growing species like willows, creating a low density habitat favored by many nesting birds. Another study of Tahoe streams, including Trout Creek, using aerial multispectral videography, has shown that deciduous, thick and thin herbaceous vegetation has increased near beaver dams. Other studies show that beavers create habitats that provide resilience to drought. Examining how beavers influenced some of Alberta’s wetlands in Elk Island National Park in Canada over a 54-year period, the presence of open water increased up to nine times in areas with beavers and their dams. Utah, Washington and other states are now using beavers to restore watersheds. It’s easy to see beavers’ dams and ponds, but not as easy to spot the beavers themselves, as they are mostly nocturnal. Dawn and dusk are best times to take a walk and look for beavers. This is the time of year that new beaver kits might make their first appearances. If you are calm and quiet (never walk on their dams or lodges), you might be lucky enough to see them – they often ride on the back of their parents or older siblings. Beavers don’t have strong eyesight, but hear and smell very well, so noises or sudden movements will spook them. Please don’t go into creeks or ponds near them, as the parents will be nervous for their babies. If you are interested, there are numerous websites with more information and videos of beaver families. Check out martinezbeavers.org – there is a beaver family right in downtown Martinez on San Francisco Bay, or beaversww.org – Beavers Wetlands and Wildlife in New York has a beaver pond and wildlife sanctuary and has rescued orphaned kits. Both sites have great video footage. A wonderful documentary called “Leave It to Beavers” that recently aired on PBS’s Nature series is available online. Contact SierraWildlifeCoalition@gmail.com or see their Facebook page for questions or information. Their volunteers are ready and willing to help anyone with any concerns about beavers. And remember, beavers are our friends!

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Tahoe Donner News - July 2014  

Tahoe Donner News (ISSN 1550-6061) is the official monthly publication of Tahoe Donner Association, which is located at 11509 Northwoods Blv...

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