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Study analyzes beavers as ‘ecosystem engineers’ near North Shore rivers

A new study shows the critical role beavers play in regulating water storage along the North Shore.

The project reviewed data and photographs from the Kadunce and Cascade rivers in Cook County, as well as the Manitou, Split Rock and Knife rivers down the shore.

The study is considered one of the most extensive reviews analyzing the extent to which beavers are essential for freshwater conservation and ecosystem stability by creating and preserving aquatic and wetland environments in Minnesota.

This new research comes from the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota Duluth. The findings were recently published in the journal Ecography.

The project was headed by Sean Johnson-Bice, who is currently at the University of Manitoba but did the research when he was studying at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with him about the study. Audio below.