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Playing beaver to save wetlands in British Columbia

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan29,2024

Playing beaver to save wetlands in British Columbia

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Columbia Wetlands organisms Stewardship Society and Living Lakes Canada are working together to replicate their own beaver dams across the Columbia River's 26,000 hectares of wetlands. (Archive photo)

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A group of volunteers are working hard to try to restore the drying Columbia River wetlands in the East Kootenay Regional District, British Columbia.

This situation means that hundreds of migratory bird species have fewer options for places to rest and feed during their long journeys.

The phenomenon occurring in the Columbia Valley region of southeastern British Columbia is partly due to erosion beaver dams, which transform wetlands into waterways.

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According to Living Lakes Canada, a national source water protection organization, parts of the Columbia River wetlands have lost more than 16 percent of their permanent open water area in recent decades. (File photo)

The Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Society and Living Lakes Canada, a national organization for Source Water Protection, are working together to address this problem by building their own beaver dams.

We mimic the work of real beavers and install beaver dams in some of our wetlands to try to maintain this open water habitat. x27;fall and spring, says Catriona Leven, an ecologist at the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Society.

She points out that beavers have long since deserted the western part of the bank at the foot of the Purcell Range in British Columbia.

The wetlands of the westernmost province of Canada constitute a vital habitat for many species, but they have been experiencing degradation for several decades due to climate change.

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Located on the migratory route of Pacific, one of the four main flyways in North America, the waters of the Columbia River Wetlands provide a haven for more than 160 species of migratory birds.

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The Columbia wetlands provide a haven for around a hundred species of migratory birds, including the swan whistler, the dusky swift, the rusty blackbird and the evening grosbeak. (Archive photo)

According to Living Lakes Canada, some areas of the Columbia River wetlands have lost more than 16% of their permanent open water area over the of recent decades.

The low accumulation of snow observed so far during the winter is also a source of ;concern for groups.

It's been warmer and drier for 40 years now, and the trend is accelerating, says Suzanne Bailey, president of Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners.

This partnership, which brings together more than 31 groups, communities and agencies, is dedicated to wetland conservation.

We're losing areas of open water, and without them, where do all those migratory birds go when spring arrives?

A quote from Suzanne Bailey, President of Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners

It is in order to best conserve water in the higher regions of the Columbia wetlands that the two groups are collaborating on the construction of artificial beaver dams.

The group hopes that replicating the work of this industrious animal in the Columbia River's 26,000 acres of wetlands will help address growing drought.

We let's do things like beavers, adds Catriona Leven. We follow their methods because they know what works.

With information fromCorey Bullock

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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