Beavers and Native Wildlife

Did you know that many of Eastern Oregon’s most endangered wildlife species flourish in the habitat provided by beaver ponds?

Beaver ponds create vital habitat for native wildlife 

Beavers - and the habitat they create - benefit many of our beloved and most scarce native wildlife populations.  Beaver ponds and the channels they create bring rich organic matter, abundant vegetation and cool riparian waterways that attract deer, elk, fish, songbirds, insects, amphibians and more.

Without these ponds and channels - without the beaver - wildlife habitat on high desert landscapes becomes increasingly scarce which accelerates with climate change.

Illustration by Jon Wagner

HOW BEAVER HABITAT BENEFITS WILDLIFE

Beaver dams naturally regulate water flow, create ponding, raise the water table, and create an environment that is nutrient rich. Beavers pond water through dams to create depth, by which to escape predators. They also create side channels by which to transport food more safely and easily afloat.

These beaver-engineered modifications also slow faster waters, providing more time and lateral space for vegetation to grow and establish - expanding food and habitat for wildlife. Streams with an active beaver colony will often be more resilient to change. Even in serious droughts, beaver engineering can keep water on the landscape even when the surrounding land is parched.

Under the right conditions (hydrology, geology and vegetation) beavers are considered a "keystone species" - creators of conditions that support entire ecological communities, and can increase the resilience of the aquatic species of plants, amphibians, invertebrates and fish.

And on land (terrestrial) wildlife excels in areas of thriving beaver colonies enriching abundance of food, habitat and more for ungulates, insects, birds and nearly every native herbivore in Central and Eastern Oregon.

OREGON WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STRATEGY

The Oregon Conservation Strategy is an overarching state strategy for conserving fish and wildlife, especially in light of climate change. It provides a shared set of priorities for addressing Oregon’s conservation needs.

The goals of the Conservation Strategy are to maintain healthy fish and wildlife populations by maintaining and restoring functioning habitats, preventing declines of at-risk species, and reversing declines in these resources where possible.

Learn more about some of our eastern Oregon Strategy Species

(Click image to go there)

Lewis's Woodpecker
Federal Listing: Species of Concern
State Listing: Sensitive

Redband Trout
Federal Listing: Species of Concern
State Listing: Sensitive

Chinook Salmon

Willow Flycatcher
Federal Listing: Species of Concern
State Listing: Sensitive

Greater Sage Grouse
Federal Listing: Species of Concern
State Listing: Sensitive

Willow Flycatcher
Federal Listing: Species of Concern
State Listing: Sensitive

Bull Trout
Federal Listing: Species of Concern
State Listing: Sensitive

Columbia Spotted Frog
Federal Listing: Species of Concern
State Listing: Sensitive

Trumpeter Swan
State Listing: Sensitive

Spotted Bat
Federal Listing: Species of Concern
State Listing: Sensitive

Westslope Cutthroat Trout
Federal Listing: Species of Concern
State Listing: Sensitive

Warner Sucker
Federal Listing: Threatened
State Listing: Threatened

JOIN US in supporting beaver success and native wildlife habitat in our Oregon high desert landscapes.