Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and University Honors
Environmental Science and Management
Beavers -- Reintroduction -- Pacific northwest, Wetland restoration, Amphibian declines -- Pacific northwest -- Prevention, Amphibians -- Conservation
Amphibian decline is a major concern in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), with many amphibian species listed as sensitive, threatened or endangered throughout the region. Some of the predicted main causes of amphibian decline are climate change and loss of habitat. The reintroduction of beavers into ecoregions of the PNW could be an important step in the conservation of this region’s amphibians, due to the beaver’s ability to engineer and structurally manipulate forest ecosystems. Beavers are able to restore wetland quality, productivity and biodiversity, creating vital amphibian habitat. This work explored the linkage between beaver presence and wetland hydrology, geomorphology, landscape heterogeneity, and biodiversity, as well as amphibian habitability, breeding and climate change resilience to determine if wetland restoration via beaver reintroduction could be a viable tool for amphibian species conservation in the PNW. Specific emphasis was placed on reintroducing beavers as a tool for habitat restoration, ecological management, and amphibian conservation, with a focus on anuran amphibian species. Beaver reintroduction and population management was found to be a valuable tool for the conservation of amphibian species, with their influences on wetland and riparian habitat positively relating to specific PNW amphibian species special needs, limiting factors, and recommended conservation measures.
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Schwantes, Danielle, "Beaver Reintroduction and Its Potential as an Ecological Conservation Measure for At-Risk Amphibian Species in the Pacific Northwest" (2021). University Honors Theses. Paper 1127.