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These Terriers are giving a makeover to an industry notoriously bad for the environment. Projects range from an electric boat motor to overseas education to tunes in the BUild Lab. He reflects on we massive six-year fundraising effort: These days, restrictions on trapping have helped beavers make a comeback—in numbers more than reputation.
In the five years following the passage of a ballot referendum restricting trapping in Massachusetts, the number of beavers in the commonwealth shot up, from 24, to 70, The population boom can raise alarms in communities.
Beavers are often viewed as a nuisance, causing millions of dollars in Baever each year by chewing fences, trees, and decks. They build dams, which leads to flooding of homes, crops, and railroads.
But some behaviors can be beneficial, says Peter Bushera College of General Studies professor of natural sciences and mathematics and chair of the division.
Beaver dam building expands wetlands, whose functions include filtering toxins from water, supporting biodiversity, and mitigating floods. Besver Busher uses traps to catch beavers, then puts them in denim bags to collect hair samples for DNA analysis.
Photo by Macauley Mathieu-Busher. Busher has been studying beavers for four decades and was the first person to track the animals by tagging them with radio transmitters.
Hoping to learn how humans Beave better coexist with beaver populations, he examines mating habits, birthrates, group structure, and how the animals migrate from one area to another. Although beavers are among only 3 percent of mammals that are socially monogamous, raising their young exclusively with one partner, researchers do not know much about their pairing behavior.
Do the parents also mate with other beavers and raise a mixed brood, or are they sexually exclusive? Busher wants to find out.
He suspects that genetically monogamous beaver populations—those that tend Beavdr mate with one partner—increase more slowly and may stay in an area longer. If one of these populations were removed because of nuisance activity, he says, the area would likely be free of beavers for a while. But Beqver the population were more promiscuous, new beavers could move into the area at any time; communities would then need to develop a long-term animal removal plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in Collegian. Years ago I studied beavers at Estabrook Woods with Dr. Based on my one year of spending hours observing them until the early morning hours, I would say that beavers would quickly find a new mate if one should disappear.
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