The recovery of beavers may have beneficial consequences for amphibians because beaver dams can create the unique habitats that amphibians need.
That finding was reported by four WSU Vancouver scientists in a paper published in the journal Freshwater Biology. The research took place in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest of the Cascade Range, where the researchers identified 49 study sites either with or without beaver dams. The researchers found the beaver-dammed sites were 2.7 times higher in amphibian species richness than the undammed sites.
“Beaver-dammed wetlands support more of the amphibian species that need a long time to develop in water as larvae before they are able to live on land as adults,” said Jonah Piovia-Scott, assistant professor in the School of Biological Sciences and one of the authors of the article.
In addition to Piovia-Scott, the authors of the study are Kevan Moffett, assistant professor in the School of the Environment; John Romansic, former postdoctoral scholar in the School of Biological Sciences; and Nicolette Nelson, former graduate student in the School of Biological Sciences.