Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Torrey Ritter
Nongame Fish and Wildlife Biologist - MT FWP 

Beaver colonies: A wonderful home for wildlife


August 29, 2019

Torrey Ritter, MT FWP

Beaver activity expands the influence of the water in the stream channel over a much larger part of the floodplain, enhancing the riparian area and increasing the capacity of the floodplain to store water.

Immersing yourself in a beaver colony is something all outdoorsy people should experience. There are few habitats in Montana that more resemble a jungle than a good beaver colony. Explore one and you will find yourself in a maze of side channels and backwaters choked with thick vegetation and interspersed with open meadows, broad ponds and a seemingly endless variety of wildlife species. The abundance and diversity of wildlife is no coincidence; it results from the work of a "keystone species" the beaver.

A keystone species is one whose presence allows certain plants and animals to exist in...

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