“We are excited to be part of this summit and for the opportunity to help spread awareness about the importance of beaver here in New Mexico. Defenders of Wildlife works to restore the species to their role as ecosystem engineers throughout the West, but in arid states like ours, their ability to create and maintain wetland and riparian habitat is even more essential.”

-  Michael Dax, New Mexico representative for Defenders of Wildlife

Since the 19th century, beaver populations across North America have been under threat. Beginning with the fur trade that decimated the species, and continuing with  habitat loss due to development, beavers nearly went extinct. Populations are returning, but recovery remains slow. 


In recent decades, however, the mounting impacts of climate change like smaller snowpacks, declining monsoon seasons, larger wildfires, higher temperatures and more severe droughts have revitalized a new appreciation for the benefits that beaver dams bring to water conservation, wildfire mitigation and creating habitat for wildlife and forage for livestock. 


“As the West gets hotter and drier, landowners and agencies around our region are turning to beavers as a water conservation strategy,” says Ben Goldfarb, author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why they Matter. “This summit is a great opportunity for stakeholders in New Mexico to learn about how to live alongside this vital and misunderstood ecosystem engineer.”


Despite this new appreciation, many watersheds in New Mexico remain devoid of this native species and conflicts remain common. Defenders of Wildlife and WildEarth Guardians, along with other state, federal and non-profit partners, have organized a virtual New Mexico Beaver Summit to help educate landowners on the benefits and challenges of living with beavers.


“Those of us from the Department of Game and Fish are looking forward to sharing our experiences with managing beaver and beaver habitat, and the efforts we’ve been taking to restore beaver here in New Mexico,” adds Nicholas Forman, Carnivore and Small Mammal Program Manager for New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.


“We are excited to be part of this summit and for the opportunity to help spread awareness about the importance of beaver here in New Mexico,” said Michael Dax, New Mexico representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “Defenders of Wildlife works to restore the species to their role as ecosystem engineers throughout the West, but in arid states like ours, their ability to create and maintain wetland and riparian habitat is even more essential.”

What: New Mexico Beaver Summit

Who: The Summit will feature a panel of experts including Ben Goldfarb, author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why they Matter, among others:

When: The Summit will entail four separate sessions to discuss tools that allow humans and beavers to coexist and how to promote the recovery and repatriation of beavers through habitat restoration and reintroduction. The full schedule is below, with links to register for each session.

Where: Details for registration and attendance for each session are linked above and can also be found here.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

Media Contact

Rebecca Bullis
Rebecca Bullis
Communications Associate
rbullis@defenders.org
(202) 772-0295

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