Beavers reintroduced to Bandelier National Monument after 60 years

New Mexico News

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE) – They’re called the engineers of the ecosystem for a reason, and biologists at Bandelier National Monument hope by reintroducing beavers there for the first time since the 1950s, they’ll bring new life to the area.

Bandelier National Monument in northern New Mexico is known for its historic dwellings, its vast forest, and now, beavers.

“We have six new beavers,” said Bandelier National Monument biologist Sarah Milligan.

These beavers were brought to Bandelier two weeks ago from Taos where they weren’t being the best neighbors.

“A lot of the Taos landowners have been complaining about the beavers flooding their land, so Game and Fish have been trapping them and instead of euthanizing them, they’ve been giving them to us,” said Milligan.

Getting these animals here has been a long time coming. The beavers haven’t been in this park since the 1950s. Back then, people were hunting and killing them because they were a nuisance.

Biologists believe these beavers will be anything but troublesome, and instead, are excited to reintroduce them to their former lands.

“Beavers are fantastic creatures for the ecosystem, they’re amazing, they can create wetlands out of desert,” said Milligan.

They said beavers can create new ecosystems that will benefit other plants and wildlife, nicknaming them ‘ecosystem engineers.’

“We’re hoping they’ll work up and down the creek and make a series of dams so we have a series of wetlands,” said Milligan.

Although this beaver was slow to check out his new digs, biologists said they’ll leave it to the beavers to start making Bandelier their new home.

It’s exciting to give these beavers a new shot at life,” said Milligan.

Biologists are setting up cameras to monitor the beavers’ movements. Right now, those cameras are just for research, but they are looking into setting up a live camera for the public in the future.

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