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Release the Beavers!

WMG's campaign goals for the Santa Cruz and San Pedro International Watersheds:

1. Advocating for beaver introduction and additional releases of beavers.
2. Monitoring the health and distribution of beaver populations by coordinating an annual population survey.
3. Restoring our creeks and rivers: slowing flows, spreading water across the floodplain, and recharging aquifers—and ensuring beavers can do the same!

 

Donate!

Donate today to support binational monitoring efforts, public education initiatives, and river restoration projects to ensure our beavers can thrive! 


In 1999, 16 beavers were introduced to the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA). Since that time, the beaver population has grown, and not only have beavers dispersed downstream, we now realize that these Arizona beavers moved upstream into Mexico and walked overland into the Santa Cruz Watershed. 

We’re advocating for beavers to be introduced into Ciénega Creek in the Santa Cruz Watershed, a project under consideration by the Bureau of Land Management. We also support additional beaver releases along the San Pedro River. Wherever there are perennial flows and deeper pools, we want to see beavers working for our watershed—building dams that slow flows, recharge the aquifer, and create much-needed riparian habitat.

You can support our Release the Beavers Campaign by donating to WMG's spring fundraising campaign and joining our River Run Network

Release the Beavers art, by Dennis Caldwell

Videos and Resources

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Beaver News

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...
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...
It’s International Beaver Day! We at WMG couldn’t be more excited because we work in two international watersheds where beavers are a keystone species—the Santa Cruz and San Pedro River watersheds. Western watersheds and desert rivers have been drying up for the last 100 years, but beavers provide a powerful, nature-based solution to reverse that trend, even in the face of a warmer and drier climate. Our goal is to raise $75,000 by midnight tonight. Will you make a gift and help us...
At their peak in 2010, there were 39 dams and 100 to 160 beavers along the 40-mile stretch of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA)—wow! When WMG heard about their declining population in early 2019, we had to learn more. Local beaver enthusiasts Mike Foster and Steve Merkley took WMG’s River Run Network members along the SPRNCA to seek signs of beavers and estimate their current population this past December. This survey started a journey of confirming beavers are still in...
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. At least 15 beavers are now thought to be living...
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. This summer, BLM plans to introduce a new...
We’re honoring beavers and the amazing work they’re doing for our desert creeks and rivers as well as rivers all over the world! Wiped out by trappers in the 1800s, beavers are repopulating the Santa Cruz and San Pedro Rivers in Southern Arizona, and they need our help. Donate today to our Release the Beavers campaign; your gift will help ensure beaver’s success through community education and advocacy, river restoration, and monitoring efforts. Our goal is to raise $75,000,...
Before they were wiped out by hunters and trappers in the early 1800s, beavers were a fairly common site in Southern Arizona. The nonprofit Watershed Management Group hopes to make their regular presence a reality again by reintroducing beavers to local waterways, with a little help from the Tucson community. On Friday, Sept. 27, the group will host Beavers, Brews and Santa Cruz, an event meant to raise funds to bring more beavers back to the region. The event will feature a screening of the...