The flat-tailed, dam-building beaver is more than just a buck-toothed furry face. They are a keystone species that help fight drought and climate change. Beaver dams keep the landscape wet, even during droughts, and the ponds work as carbon sinks. But these woodland superheroes were hunted almost to extinction in the last century and are still sometimes viewed as pests. Luckily, indigenous communities, who have always recognized beavers' vital place in the ecosystem, are working with governments to protect and encourage beaver habitats. Watch the episode and then let us know: what can beavers and their habitats teach us about fighting climate change?
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How do Beavers mitigate climate change?
Beavers are a keystone species - any organism, from animals and plants to bacteria and fungi that play a crucial role in holding a habitat together. A beaver's main goal in their habitat is to make a pond for themselves to live in. They do so by building a dam and digging a bunch of little canals out from their ponds. What they are really doing, though, is slowing down the flow of water. This not only helps them survive, but it also benefits humans. The slowed-down water has time to sink into the soil and spread out into the floodplain. And so when things like drought or forest fires happen, there's more stored water in the earth that prevents fires from spreading.
Why did beavers nearly go extinct?