Investing in Beaver Habitats

As urban regions in the Southeast continue to grow and develop, harmful pollutants enter nearby waterways more frequently. Carolina researchers think one of the best solutions to prevent this may be investments in the habitats of the furry neighbors already in our backyards: beavers.

Diego Riveros-Iregui, a Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geography within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences, is researching beavers’ impact on water quality in urban settings by comparing them with manmade retention ponds, in a collaborative project with UNC-Charlotte, Georgia State University and Georgia Gwinnett College.

“Scientists have studied the role of beavers on water quality for a while,” Riveros-Iregui said. “The part that is different about what we’re doing is that we’re studying beavers in urban environments. These areas of the Southeast are some of the most rapidly growing areas in the United States. But we also know that urban settings are bad for water quality.”

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