What a treat, I got to show our beaver dam to Dr. Emily Fairfax, Assistant Professor, California State University Channel Islands, Environmental Science and Resource Management. She was the researcher that studied large-scale wildfires and beaver habitat and made a great stop-motion video demonstrating her findings.
It was so fun to walk around the beaver dams and beaver lodges and learn so much about an area that I visit regularly. First, she called our beaver dam a “Jewel” of a beaver complex. She pointed out all the ways the beavers have committed themselves to this area, the 7-foot deep moat around their bank den, the beaver lodge (ie. second story) they were adding on to the beaver den (that I never even noticed before), the series of micro-dams on the hidden back side of the den that were widening the river and creating a safe hidden path to food sources. As we walked in the water, we would occasionally pass through really cold patches of shallow water, she said these were places where the ground water was coming up, cooling the water and recycling the river water back into the ground (something like that), keeping the river water at that perfect fish-loving temperatures. She took a thermal image of the water and the dams also, which are sooooo cool.
And the best part!?!?!?! She wants to do a study of this beaver complex, watching, recording, capturing photos, as the seasons change, gathering data within the beaver complex and comparing to data outside of the beaver complex. Is that the most exciting news ever or what!? I can’t even believe it.
Here is a 360 photo by Dr. Emily Fairfax of the beaver dam and pond, so you can feel like you are in the water with us!
More info on Dr. Emily Fairfax can be found here.
More to come!