Beavers causing dam problems in bosque

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Beavers in the Bosque are damaging native trees and damming up an acequia that needs to stay flowing. After years of battling this problem, there’s now a plan to manage the beavers, at the Albuquerque BioPark, differently.

A dam had been blocking a channel near Tingley Beach until Friday afternoon. There will be more work done there in the next couple of weeks to re-direct the beavers and avoid possible flooding because of dams.

“It can over-embank on the ponds themselves, which is what we’re trying to reduce because we want to ensure that the public can access for recreation purposes the pond areas for wildlife watching, walking, hiking biking,” Heritage Farm Assistant Curator JT Jones stated.

That dam was right in the acequia between two man-made marsh ponds, which clean the water from the Tingley Beach fishing ponds before it flows back into the Rio Grande.

The New Mexico BioPark Society, the non-profit fundraising arm for the BioPark, recently put out an article about efforts in previous years to remove the dams or relocate the beavers, but it never worked in the long term.

Now, Jones is spearheading a new program to direct the beavers away from the acequia and point them to other areas of the pond where they can continue building dams for their safety and to help them access food. The plan starts with using a so-called flow device in the coming weeks.

“The one we’re going to put in here is similar to a culvert, so we’ll have an exclusion fence with a pipe going to a cage on the front end of that pipe. That way the water can flow unimpeded,” Jones said.

They’ll also be using chicken wire to block the beavers from some trees that are native to the Bosque, like Willows and Cottonwoods.

Jones said they know of at least two beaver groups in the area, one living in each marsh pond. This program will be done in collaboration with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, the city’s Open Space Division, and the Beaver Institute in Massachusetts.

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