Beavers at the Refuge, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Ladybug on Headquarters stairs, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Lichen and fungi on log, photo by Dave Sauder
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Bald eagle calling in tree next to main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Barred owl in 1990, photo by Bernie Hehl
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Bearded iris near Miller House, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Beavers on Refuge in 1984, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Belted kingfisher in tree on main pond, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Bird tracks in snow, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Black vulture on cabin barn, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge photo
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Wood ducks near Wild Goose Blind, Unexpected Wildlife Refuge trail camera photo

Unexpected Wildlife Refuge is a protected natural habitat comprising 767 acres of pristine pine lands, forest, fields, bogs, streams and lakes. It provides a refuge to animals and plants indigenous to southern New Jersey; a place where wildlife can live freely and naturally without fear of being harmed at the hands of human beings. We began as the home of Hope Sawyer Buyukmihci and Cavit Buyukmihci, who dedicated their land to habitat preservation so that native wildlife and habitat could thrive. We are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) entity, federal ID 23-7025010.
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Beavers in the News Media

This is a list of some information that has appeared in the news media, arranged by descending date of publication. Much of it is supportive of beavers and their important role in the ecosystem as a keystone species. Listing a news item here does not mean that the Refuge necessarily endorses or agrees with anything mentioned. Be aware that many people view beavers as a consumable resource or 'pest'.


2021-04-07: "Record numbers of beavers are being introduced to the UK". Tammana Begum. Natural History Museum accessed 2021-04-07
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2021-03-30: "Beavers released into enclosure on banks of the Dyfi". Dylan Davies. Cambrian News accessed 2021-04-01
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2021-03-27: "Rodents and forests". Greg Corace. The Alpena News accessed 2021-04-01

2021-03-26: "The success story of beavers in the River Otter". Rotary Club of Tiverton, Devon. In Your Area accessed 2021-03-27
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2021-03-26: "Beaver rescued from the beach at Ramsgate loses fight for life". Kathy Bailes. The Isle of Thanet News accessed 2021-03-27
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2021-03-25: "Toronto: fare-beating beaver wandering in station disrupts morning commute". Leyland Cecco. The Guardian accessed 2021-04-01
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2021-03-25: "An unusual visitor has been rescued from the beach in Ramsgate". Kathy Bailes. The Isle of Thanet News accessed 2021-03-26
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2021-03-18: "The outside story: Beavers, nature's landscape engineer". Declan McCabe. Bennington Banner accessed 2021-03-19
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2021-03-18: "LBL Wildlife Report: The many busy beavers of Land Between the Lakes". Tracy Ross and Melanie Davis. Hoptown Chronicle accessed 2021-03-18
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2021-03-16: "LBL Wildlife Report: The Many Busy Beavers of Land Between the Lakes". Tracy Ross and Melanie Davis. WKMS accessed 2021-03-17
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2021-03-14: "The Return Of The European Beaver, Nature's Engineer". Raghu Mandal. Phil Sports News accessed 2021-03-18
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2021-03-12: "Country diary: the beavers are busy – but elusive". Ella Davies. The Guardian accessed 2021-03-18
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2021-03-08: "Dorset beavers make first dam within four days of being relocated". Greg Luckhurst. Daily Echo accessed 2021-03-19
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2021-02-27: "Beavers nibble on cherry tree at Tidal Basin". Valerie Bonk. WTOPNews accessed 2021-03-19
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2021-02-26: "Legal challenge to beaver killing policy can proceed". Kenny Smith. Scottish Field accessed 2021-03-19
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2021-02-26: "Cherry trees at Tidal Basin get protection from beavers ahead of Cherry Blossom Festival". Don Parker. ABC7 WJLA accessed 2021-03-19
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2021-02-26: "Beavers in Scotland: Legal battle over culling policy". Herald Scotland Online. The Herald accessed 2021-03-19
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2021-02-25: "Refuge Notebook: Leave it to beavers". Mark Laker. Peninsula Clarion accessed 2021-03-19
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2021-02-23: "Beaver believers: Native Americans promote resurgence of 'nature's engineers'". Lucy Sherriff. The Guardian accessed 2021-03-19
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Beavers are known as nature's engineers, due to their dam-building habits. For decades they have been hated by landowners, who dislike the animals' tendency to fell trees and flood areas. However, their dams – although seen by some as a nuisance – help control the quantity and quality of water flow, while their ponds create habitat for numerous plants and animal species, including fish.

2021-02-12: "Record number of beavers to be released in Britain this year". Patrick Barkham. The Guardian accessed 2021-03-19
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The popular rodent, whose dams have been shown to boost hundreds of species of insects, amphibians, birds, fish and plants, is returning to Dorset, Derbyshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Nottinghamshire and Montgomeryshire.

2021-02-12: "Beavers reintroduced to parts of England and Wales". Anonymous. BBC News accessed 2021-03-19
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Wildlife Trust chief executive Craig Bennett said: "The benefits for people are clear - beavers help stop flooding downstream, filter out impurities and they create new homes for otters, water voles and kingfishers."

2021-02-11: "Beavers return to Dorset for the first time in 400 years as male and female pair are transported from Scotland to see if their dams can boost wildlife and even prevent flooding". Emer Scully. Mail Online accessed 2021-03-19
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Rivers conservation officer Steve Oliver said welcoming beavers back to the county was 'fantastic'.

He said besides being 'magnificent creatures in their own right' they were 'extra special because their engineering activities have the potential to bring even more life to a landscape and enable other species to flourish'.

2021-02-02: "Animal rescue: Tallahassee beaver's misadventures end with a bubble bath". Sandy Beck. Tallahassee Democrat accessed 2021-03-19
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By storing runoff water and slowly releasing it, giving it a chance to settle into the land and replenish groundwater, beaver dams also reduce downstream flooding and erosion. This may be even more important at higher elevations as rain replaces snow because of climate change.

2020-12-04: "A rogue conservationist fights for the return of Britain's busiest mammal". Abe Musselman. ScienceLine accessed 2021-03-19
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Ultimately, what distinguishes rewilding from other conservation strategies is humility, a willingness to share the Earth with intelligences that aren't our own. Beavers were shaping the planet long before humans decided we should be in charge. They remind us we can't do it alone.

2020-09-22: "How beavers became North America's best firefighter". Ben Goldfarb. National Geographic accessed 2021-03-19
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The rodent creates fireproof refuges for many species, suggesting wildlife managers should protect beaver habitat as the U.S. West burns...A new study concludes that, by building dams, forming ponds, and digging canals, beavers irrigate vast stream corridors and create fireproof refuges in which plants and animals can shelter. In some cases, the rodents' engineering can even stop fire in its tracks.

2020-08-21: "Rare beaver rescued in Xinjiang". Anonymous. CGTN accessed 2021-03-19
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On the afternoon of August 17, villagers found an injured beaver near the Bulgan River in Qinghe County, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. ... The beaver is a subspecies of Eurasian beaver, named Castor fiber birulai. As the only beaver species living in China, it is extremely rare and is under first-class national protection.

2020-08-06: "England's first wild beavers for 400 years allowed to live on River Otter". Fiona Harvey. The Guardian accessed 2021-03-19
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Key to the success of the River Otter project was getting local people and farmers involved and explaining the benefits beavers can bring, as well as providing support when needed, said Burgess. There were several incidents of localised flooding of farmland, when the landowners were concerned, but by providing expert support the reintroduction team were able to resolve the problems.

2020-08-06: "Beavers will make the River Otter a forever home after successful completion of trial". Anonymous. Defra in the media accessed 2021-03-19
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'This work, carried out under a licence issued by Natural England, has confirmed the positive transformations that these animals can create, including the benefits they provide for many other species, such as fish, improving water quality and smoothing flood peaks.

'Reintroductions of iconic species like the beaver will be an important part of the Nature Recovery Network. We now look forward to working towards the next stages of management of beaver more widely across England.'

2020-06-26: "The Trials and Tribulations of Beavers in Scotland: A Species of the Times". Coreen Grant. Varsity accessed 2021-03-19
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After protected status was achieved in 2019, Pike stated that the reintroduction of beavers was about 'restoring the balance of nature that we have thrown so badly off-course – and reappraising how we live alongside species other than ourselves.' It seems that now, in light of the report, a new reappraisal is needed if we are to retain beavers as a prospering part of our natural environment. In a wider perspective of climate emergency, in which the effects of a chronic decline in biodiversity are becoming increasingly apparent, the precarious future of beavers in Scotland highlights larger questions about our priorities going forward.

2020-06-23: "Beavers: Why give a dam | Ranger Ramblings". Sam Richards. The Tribune accessed 2021-03-19
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Flooding from beaver dams creates new wetlands upstream, and while they may not be the most visually stunning environments, there is more to these wet spots than meets the eye. Benefits of wetlands include providing critical habitat to an abundance of plants and animals, water storage, carbon fixation, stream bank reinforcement, enhanced nutrient cycling and flood protection.

2020-06-18: "Learning to live with the beaver". Kathleen McQuillan. The Timberjay accessed 2021-03-19

2020-05-15: "Calls for government strategy to reintroduce beavers". Defra. GOV.UK accessed 2021-03-19
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2020-04-21: "Saratoga PLAN creates way for humans, beavers to co-exist at Galway Nature Preserve". Lauren Halligan. The Saratogian accessed 2021-03-19
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Rather than treat the beavers as a nuisance, Saratoga PLAN implemented a solution called the Beaver Deceiver, a water level device that allows the animals to build dams without causing flooding.

2020-04-02: "The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter". Anonymous. Oregon WildBlog accessed 2021-03-19
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Goldfarb's presentation explores how the modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America's waterways. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: ponds drained, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat.

2020-02-20: "The benefits of letting beavers loose in England's rivers". James Agyepong-Parsons. ENDS Report accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy; click linked image to enlarge)
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'I think people are waking up to what beavers can do and how exciting it could be if we brought them back,' said [Mark Elliott from the Devon Wildlife Trust]. 'We call them the keystone species because of the benefits that they create for other wetland species by creating new habitat and helping manage flood risk as well.'

2020-02-20: "The furry ecosystem engineers of the Copper River Delta". James Ianni. The Cordova Times accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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After many years, the dams created by these furry engineers have created new habitats for other plants and animals.

2020-02-17: "Beavers cut flooding and pollution and boost wildlife populations". Patrick Barkham. The Guardian accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy; click linked image to enlarge)
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Beavers have alleviated flooding, reduced pollution and boosted populations of fish, amphibians and other wildlife, according to a five-year study of wild-living animals in Devon.
The report, which will help the government decide whether to allow wild beavers to return to England after being hunted to extinction more than 400 years ago, concludes that the species has brought measurable benefits to wildlife and people.

2020-02-01: "Dam fine: estate owners across UK queue up to reintroduce beavers". Patrick Barkham. The Guardian accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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A YouGov poll this week found overwhelming public support for reintroducing beavers into Britain, with 76% of people supporting the idea, by far the most popular mammal for reintroductions ahead of the wild cat, wolf and lynx.

2020-01-30: "'Drivers of change': beavers released on National Trust land to ease flooding risk". Steven Morris. The Guardian accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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As ecosystem engineers the beavers will develop wetland habitat, increasing the variety and richness of wildlife in the local landscape. Their presence in our river catchments is a sustainable way to help make our landscape more resilient to climate change and the extremes of weather it will bring.

2020-01-28: "Discover Nature: American Beavers". Kyle Felling. KBIA accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy; click linked image to enlarge)
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This week on Discover Nature, watch for an ecological engineer, and unsung steward of streams.

2020-01-27: "Beavers: Nature's Architects and Engineers". Steve Hall. Adirondack Almanack accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy; click linked image to enlarge)
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More than any other mammal, the industrious and hard working beavers have the greatest impact on water bodies, with their tree harvesting, manipulation and dam building.
Beaver ponds naturally produce a huge and beneficial support habitat for everything from invertebrates, fish, crayfish, frogs, newts, snakes and turtles to predators like otters, minks, weasels and bears, as well as osprey, eagles, ducks, geese, etc. so the same factors which seem to make beavers a headache for farmers and land owners, provide a rich biodiversity for the flourishing of a wide range of plants, crustaceans and animals. Beaver ponds act as one of nature's best filters, removing sediments and pollutants from water, including total suspended solids, total nitrogen, phosphates, carbon and silicates.

2020-01-15: "From what they eat to where they sleep: Everything you need to know about beavers". Anonymous. ITV News accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy; click linked image to enlarge)
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Beavers provide woodland management by gnawing down trees and stimulating growth - they 'coppice' trees like willow, hazel, rowan and aspen.
Where the beavers are being released, we've got an amazing potential for wetland habitat, and the beavers are a massive help in creating that as ecological engineers.

2020-01-15: "DAM! Beavers to be re-introduced in England 500 years after being wiped out by hunters". Sean Keach. The Sun accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy; click linked image to enlarge)
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Beavers do modify the habitats and landscapes they live in through coppicing, feeding and in some cases damming (beavers living on lakes or large rivers have little need of constructing dams), the Cumbria Wildlife Trust explained.
All of these modifications have a positive effect on biodiversity.
Beaver adaptations can bring enormous benefits to other species, including otters, water shrews, water voles, birds, invertebrates especially dragonflies, and breeding fish.
Their dams can hold water in periods of drought, can regulate flooding and improve water quality by holding silt behind dams and catching acidic and agricultural run-off.

2020-01-09: "Beaver named Animal of the Year 2020 in Latvia". Anonymous. The Baltic Times accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
Although we are pleased with this news, it is morally incongruous that Latvia should declare the beaver "Animal of the Year" and still allow hunting of these animals. We hope for a more enlightened position at some point.

2020-01-02: "Experts hail success for England's only wild beavers". Anonymous. Jersey Evening Post accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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2019-12-05: "On an English Estate, Reintroduced Beavers Might Make a Damn Difference". Jessica Leigh Hester. Atlas Obscura accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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2019-12-05: "Beavers Continue Their Rhode Island Comeback". Todd McLeish. ecoRI News accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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We do not agree, of course, with any 'management' that involves killing beavers.

2019-11-20: "Beavers to be released in plan to ease flooding and aid biodiversity". Steven Morris. The Guardian accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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2019-10-31: "Abating beavers' impacts: Flooding near Aberdeen results in use of 'deceiver' device". Kate Gienapp. Gunnison Country Times (file copy; click linked image to enlarge)
...rather than eliminate beavers from the area altogether as has been tradition elsewhere in the valley, the Historical Society searched for an alternative solution.

2019-10-15: "Getting A-Log: More In Mass. Seek Coexistence With Beavers". Miriam Wasser. WBUR accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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2019-10-02: "A look at nature: Leave it to beaver". Dave Hallock. The Mountain-Ear accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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2019-10-02: "A Valuable Commodity: How the beaver contributed to Oregon becoming a state". Jim Anderson. Source Weekly accessed 2021-03-19 16:19:50 (file copy)
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2019-09-10: "The vital role of beavers in enriching and strengthening our ecosystems (Interview with Ben Goldfarb of Eager)". Kamea Chayne. Green Dreamer accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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2019-09-03: "Tool-sharpening dam builders". Justin Haag. Norfolk Daily News accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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2019-08-14: "Chewing over three books about beavers". Betsy Kepes and Todd Moe. North Country Public Radio accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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2019-08-13: "Beavers on the coast are helping salmon bounce back. Here's how". Starre Vartan. National Geographic accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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2019-08-05: "Beaver Frolics in the Hudson Outside Former Trump Buildings". West Sider. West Side Rag accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)
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2019-07-30: "Conservation success stories: North American Beaver". Christian Ryan. Coeur d'Alene Press accessed 2021-03-19 (file copy)

2019-07-23: "How Beavers, the Original Ecosystem Engineers, May Help the American West Adapt to Climate Change". James Gaines. The Weather Channel accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-07-05: "Beavers engineer their ecosystems in a way that helps moose and otters". Sam Wong. NewScientist accessed 2021-03-29
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2019-05-31: "The return of the Beaver". Michelle Dibb. Ecologist accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-05-21: "Beavers in Essex doing 'better job' of making flood defences". Anonymous. BBC News accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-05-12: "Check It Out: Check out 'Eager,' join 'beaver believers'". Jan Johnston. The Columbian accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-04-02: "Revisiting The Surprising, Secret Life Of Beavers & Why They Matter With Ben Goldfarb On Access Utah". Tom Williams. Utah Public Radio accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-03-23: "The triumphant return of the British beaver". Ben Goldsmith. The Spectator accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-03-20: "CREATURE FEATURE: Beavers, the engineers of nature". Brandon Hansen. The Independent accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-02-23: "Beavers to become protected species under new legislation". Anonymous. Mail Online accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-02-23: "Beavers to become protected species in Scotland". Kevin Keane. BBC News accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-02-22: "Beavers are active in Mercer Island's Luther Burbank Park". Katie Metzger. Mercer Island Reporter accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-02-11: "Is there a beaver resurgence in Philadelphia?" Ximena Conde. WHYY accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-01-31: "Outdoor Radio: Wintertime With North American Beavers". Chris Albertine. Vermont Public Radio accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-01-03: "After 180 years, beavers return 'home' to Milwaukee River in heart of downtown". John Gurda. Journal Sentinal accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2019-01-01: "Can Beavers Clean Our Water and Restore Wild Salmon Populations?" Joseph Mercola. Mercola.com accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2018-12-07: "Beavers sighted in Italy after almost 500 years". Anonymous. Il Globo (file copy)

2018-11-28: "Rethinking the Beaver: Why beavers and humans have to learn to get along". Frances Backhouse. CBC Radio accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2018-11-28: "Beavers are engineering a new Alaskan tundra". Sid Perkins. ScienceNews accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy; click linked image to enlarge)
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2018-11-08: "'Let the Rodent Do the Work': Reflections of a Beaver Believer". Kevin Dennehy. Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2018-11-07: "Beavers return to north Essex as part of flood management scheme". Dominic Moffitt. East Anglian Daily Times accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2018-11-06: "Beavers to return to Essex for the first time in 400 years". Anonymous. GOV.UK accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2018-10-31: "Discover Nature: Beavers Prepare for Winter". Kyle Felling. KBIA accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2018-07-20: "Beavers Are the Working-Class Heroes of Their Ecosystems--America Should Appreciate Them More". Jeff Turrentine. Natural Resources Defense Council onEarth accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2018-07-17: "'We have caught (them) in the act': Beavers are invading Alaska, the final frontier". Joe O'Connor. National Post accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2018-07-07: "The Busy, Beneficial Beaver". MacDonald. JSTOR Daily accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy; click linked image to enlarge)
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2015-12-21: "Critter Number 5 – The Beaver". Whitney Pipkin. Bay Journal (file copy)

2015-12-14: "Leaving it to beavers: Communities make room for natural engineers". Whitney Pipkin. Bay Journal accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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2015-11-06: "Busy beavers boost water quality". Valerie Sudol. New Jersey On-Line LLC accessed 2021-03-20
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2014-02-10: "Who, What, Why: Do beavers prevent flooding?" Anonymous. BBC News accessed 2021-03-20 (file copy)
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