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91.5 KJZZ: Jan. 4, 2022

Schools are back from winter break as the omicron variant continues to surge in Arizona. We’ll hear from a teacher about going back to the classroom. Plus, the story of Black farmers in the Southwest and how some of them are looking to return to their roots. That and more on The Show. More...

[Clip about WMG's beaver survey starts at the 43:23 mark.]

Where are all the beavers on Arizona's San Pedro River? Volunteers go looking for them

SAN PEDRO RIVER — On a cloudy December Saturday, a group of wildlife enthusiasts met on a dirt pull-off in southern Arizona to embark on a mission. Wide-eyed and unified, the cadre of researchers, advocates, professors and students had volunteered to spend the day collecting data for conservation. Read more...

Banished beaver gets second chance in San Pedro River

The beaver population on the San Pedro River increased by one Friday with the release of a transplant that was trapped by a pest control company along Oak Creek southwest of Sedona.

Rather than kill the “nuisance animal,” Steven Martin from Critter Control of Northern Arizona worked with the Tucson-based Watershed Management Group to find the beaver a welcoming new home at an educational nature center on the San Pedro near Sierra Vista.

“We were all really excited. It made our week,” Martin said. “You don’t always get a win in this business, so it was nice to have a win.”

'It's so cool to see': Building dams by night, beavers resurface along Arizona's San Pedro River

Under cover of darkness, beavers are swimming through tranquil pools in the San Pedro River. They're gnawing on tree trunks. They're building dams.

We know this because of the work of volunteers who have recently walked miles along the river searching for signs of beavers.

Next to the piled branches of one beaver dam, a volunteer strapped a wildlife camera to a tree several months ago. And in the middle of the night, two beavers repeatedly turned up in the infrared images, their eyes glowing in the darkness.

Beaver believers see signs of rodent rebound on San Pedro River

If you picked the Beavers in your bracket, you can probably forget about winning your office basketball pool.

But if you’re betting on the beavers along the San Pedro River, you’re still in luck.

A Tucson-based environmental group says the dam-building rodents are doing better than previously thought on the federally protected river southeast of Tucson, where they were reintroduced 20 years ago after being wiped out in the early 20th century.

Beavers being reintroduced to local watersheds

Thousands of beavers once populated Southern Arizona’s rivers, with frontiersman James Ohio Pattie dubbing the San Pedro River as “Beaver River.” But the animals were hunted and trapped to extermination in the 1800s and early 1900s. However, in 1999 the Bureau of Land Management released 16 beavers into the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Since then, the population has ebbed and flowed, with 50 beavers now estimated along the San Pedro.


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