Beavers, the engineers of our forest environment

As an engineer, I enjoyed reading this post on how other animals engineer their environments. The engineering I am involved in is to try to improve our environment for humans and others, so these beavers will be able to have streams to dam.

Jennifer Weeks posts an interesting biological research on beavers and their role in a Massachusets

Image courtesy of “Shelley Szajner’s Writing Blog”

ecosystem. Clogging culverts is not my idea of a good thing but it shows their ingenuity in adapting the environment to fit their needs. Fortunately for others, their needs coincide with the needs of other slough and forested ecosystems.

“Before European settlement, an estimated 60 million beavers ranged across North America.” While that number has drastically declined, conservation efforts in MA have brought numbers back up. Beavers tend to make lodges that they protect from other beavers by creating a kind of mote, according to the author. Among other things, this creates pocket wetlands, decreases the effect or droughts and flash floods, and incredibly help purify water..

Please read the article (especially the second page) for more:

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/Beavers-The-Engineers-of-the-Forest.html#ixzz0mGnFn7OE

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