NASA satellites reveal restoration power of beavers

By Jeremy Hance
September 11, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new partnership between NASA and researchers is measuring the impact of beavers reintroduced to landscapes in Idaho. Beavers are one of the world’s most powerful ecosystem engineers, building new habitats by slowing water flow and reducing flooding, while also boosting biodiversity. Beavers are all the more important in an age of rapid climate change, as they produce wetter and more resilient habitats, even in the face of wildfires. “NASA is interested in how satellite Earth observations can be used for natural resource management,” a member of the space agency’s Ecological Conservation Program tells Mongabay. A biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Wildlife, Cory Mosby knows the power of beavers. And now NASA — yes, the same agency that sends people into space and searches for killer comets — is helping researchers get a more detailed look at how beavers can transform our world for the better, including combating climate change.

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