Help scientists discover everything there is to know about the beaver population in Germany’s Lower Rhine region.
These expert builders were reintroduced in the neighboring Netherlands in the 1980s and have since made their way into the densely populated Lower Rhine. But researchers lack information on how many beavers live there, where they range, and how much they’re interfering with human activities like farming, fishing, and waterway maintenance.
From boats or the shore, search peaceful ponds and streams for signs of beaver life, like lodges, dams, burrows in riverbanks, and gnaw marks—and, of course, for beavers themselves. You’ll count those you see and observe their behavior. You’ll also find out about the world they live in by sampling the soil and water and counting other species in the area.
Very little is known about the beaver population in this area, so you’ll contribute to critical baseline data that will shape plans to manage beavers. Beavers are skillful manipulators of their environment. Their dams can cause floods, divert waterways, change the composition of the soil, and even help bolster fish populations. They nibble on crops and fences. Help make sure that plans to manage these potentially disruptive activities work for the beavers, too.