Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Utah
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Utah Project

BLM & BoR: Utah Understanding the Dynamics of Beaver Re-Introduction for Passive Desert River.

October 2018 - September 2023


Participating Agencies

  • Bureau of Land Management

American beavers (Castor canadensis) are absent from or in low abundance in many river systems due to historic and current anthropogenic activity. Reintroduction of beavers, sometimes coupled with the addition of structural features (e.g. beaver dam analogs), to restore degraded systems is becoming more popular, though outcomes are variable and standardized best practices are lacking, especially in desert rivers. Beavers can serve as a cost-effective, natural restoration tool due to their dam-building behavior, promoting heterogeneity and drought-resiliency in rivers, and translocating nuisance beavers to restoration areas offers an alternative to lethal removal of problem beavers. Evaluating the efficacy of translocated beavers is imperative to improving beaver-assisted restoration techniques. This project is a collaboration of numerous institutions and agencies, including USGS Utah CRU, Utah State University, USDA National Wildlife Research Center, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The project will help to understand the complexities of translocation and its effect on vital rates, space use, and activity patterns of wildlife, which in turn will inform best practices for establishment of dam-building beavers in desert river restoration areas.

Research Publications Publication Date
Doden, E. P. Budy, T. Avgar, and J.K. Young. 2022. Movement Patterns of Resident and Translocated Beavers at Multiple Spatiotemporal Scales in Desert Rivers. Frontiers in Conservation Science: Animal Behavior in Novel Environments 3:777797. doi: 10.3389/978-2-88976-152-4.
* USDA manuscript approval process - Young. | Abstract
May 2022
Technical Publications Publication Date
Doden, E. Budy, P., Young, J.K. 2019. Beaver re-introduction - Passive desert river restoration. Performance Report for the period January 1, 2019 to December 1, 2019 to the Bureau of Land Management. Agreement number L18AC00121. December 2019
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Sandbach, Christine. 2023. Evaluating Beaver Translocation Methods for Desert River Restoration. MS Thesis. Summer 2023. Co-Advised with Dr. J. Young. July 2023