Beaver Monitoring App
Beavers are an important part of aquatic ecosystems in Utah. As "ecosystem engineers" they help restore streams, clean the water, and create habitat for other wildlife.
Scientists at Utah State University need your help in identifying where beavers are located in Utah. Use the fun and easy iPhone or iPad app the next time you see signs of a beaver.
Beaver Effects on Ecosystems and Water Quality
Water Quality - Beaver dams filter excess nutrients and pollution, which improves water quality. Beaver dams also reduce stream channel scouring and erosion of stream banks and decrease sediment loading in lakes and streams.
Hydrology - Beaver dams slow water currents, increasing deposition of sediment and organic material. This stores both water and sediment behind the dam in the beaver pond.
Plants and Animals - The wetlands created by beaver dams provide habitat for plants, which provide food and cover for many types of animals. Beaver ponds help support high diversity and density of bird species. The variety and density of aquatic macroinvertebrates (water bugs) and fish have both been shown to increase in the presence of beaver dams. Beaver dams create ideal habitats for amphibians such as frogs, salamanders, and toads.
- Beaver Dam Information (website)
- Beaver Dams Create Healthy Downstream Ecosystem (article)
- "Beaver" dams aid fish restoration in John Day River Drainage (article)
Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool (BRAT)
BRAT is a decision, support, and planning tool developed to help both researchers and resource managers assess the potential for beaver as a stream conservation and restoration tool over large regions and watersheds. The primary driver of the model is availability of suitable vegetation to support beaver dam building activity. The model also incorporates other components including the likelihood that a beaver could build a dam at base flow and the likelihood of that dam being able to withstand typical floods. In order to verify the model's performance, the model can be compared with dam surveys. Read more about this in the BRAT Factsheet.
Comparing the model with actual dam surveys
This is where we need your help! Use the Beaver Monitoring App to record beaver signs you see.
Beaver Monitoring Application
You can download the beaver monitoring application and use it to record information about beaver signs that you find. This will help the researchers evaluate the performance of the Beaver Restoration and Assessment Tool. If you have questions or need help with the Beaver App please contact our program coordinator.