It’s hard to believe that the North American beaver was once so ubiquitous in Southern Arizona that fur trappers in the 1800s used to refer to the San Pedro as Beaver River.
Those same trappers are the reason the animals went extinct in the area over a century ago.
But beavers have made a comeback in recent decades, albeit a modest one, according to the latest count by the nonprofit Watershed Management Group.
The environmental organization estimates up to 43 beavers in eight families now live along a roughly 70-mile stretch of the upper San Pedro River in the U.S. and Mexico.
The U.S. population is smaller at between 13 and 17 beavers, while 24-26 beavers are thought to live upstream in Mexico.
Watershed Management Group executive director Lisa Shipek said the overall total is similar to what they found during their previous survey in 2021, but the numbers are down slightly on the U.S. side of the border.
Once-common San Pedro River beavers making tiny comeback