Beavers are ancient watershed managers, working hard to build dams that create wetlands. These wetlands help filter contaminants, reduce flooding downstream and ultimately create critical habitat for wildlife, particularly Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) such as the meadow jumping mouse and many bird species. River Source works with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to raise awareness of the values of wetlands and beaver and how to avoid human-beaver conflicts. We also work with several schools to map existing and potential beaver habitat and to study the health of wetlands.
River Source has created a curriculum with support from the Share with Wildlife Program of New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. To view and download the lessons click on the links below:
Lesson 2 Wetlands habitat monitoring
Lesson3 Data analysis and presentation
River Source has also created a presentation on wetlands and beaver available for download. To view a PDF version of the presentation click here.
In response to the need for distance learning resources, we created 2 educational videos: What is a Riparian Area? How to Measure the Health of Riparian Areas
Santa Fe River. River Source presented to a collaborative of landowners, local, state and federal agencies to address beavers co-locating with the Santa Fe Wastewater Treatment Plant which is crossed by a County road that wasn’t designed to be inundated. We presented the only data available to focus on beaver dam impacts on flow with the Santa Fe Indian School (maps of wetted perimeter & water quantity/quality parameters) and hourly and monthly variation of flow based on 2011 & 2012 data.
In March 2014 Mark Ericson (Santa Fe Indian School), Rich Schrader and Carlos Herrera made a follow-up presentation on the lower Santa Fe River beaver complex that details the growth of the wetted perimeter of the floodplain and describes water quality and water quantity measurements that were taken upstream and downstream of the beaver dams. Click here to download this presentation. (Beaver Habitat, Water Quantity, Mar 2014)
Mora River. Monitoring wetlands habitat on the Mora River has focused on mapping and measuring water quality on the Mora River National Wildlife Refuge in partnership with Brian Miller of the Denver Zoo. The 2013 survey occured in spring during a very dry period when long stretches of the River were dry yet there was still active presence of beaver. Click here to see the maps.
Jemez River. River Source has worked with Walatowa High School located at Jemez Pueblo to monitor beaver dams upstream of the Seven Springs Hatchery and on the Pueblo.