Returning Pioneers: Beavers Make A Comeback In California After 75 Years

December 29, 2023

Today's good news story comes from Plumas County, California.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has initiated the first phase of its beaver translocation efforts, marking the inaugural beaver conservation release in nearly 75 years.

Collaborating with the Maidu Summit Consortium, CDFW introduced a family of seven beavers to Plumas County, specifically at a site known to the tribal community as Tásmam Koyóm.

beavers released california good news
Credit: California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The newly introduced beaver family joins an existing resident beaver in the valley, aiming to establish a breeding population that will sustain the mountain meadow ecosystem, its processes, and the habitat crucial for various species.

"Thanks to the leadership of our tribal partners and years of preparation, beavers are returning to their original homeland around the state. California is restoring wildlife and critical habitat by working hand-in-hand with the tribes who have stewarded these lands," Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

This historic release marks the initial phase of CDFW's North American beaver restoration project, releasing these creatures onto the ancestral lands of the Mountain Maidu people. Subsequent to this, a beaver reintroduction endeavor is scheduled for the Tule River Reservation in the southern Sierra Nevada.

The CDFW reported that the beaver family has successfully adapted to their new habitat, having already established shelter for the upcoming winter. They will continue to be monitored.

"The translocated beavers and receiving ecosystems will be monitored for multiple years following their release to assess the population, movement, habitat utilization, behavior and activity, potential conflicts, mortalities and the need for additional translocations, as well as the ecological changes that result from beaver engineering on the landscape," the CDFW said.

Watch the good news video below.

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