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Who can turn a desert into a garden?
oh my god look at this
its gorgeous
when you need to save crops and cattle from the deepest drought
who you gonna call?
call a beaver
controlling water is what beavers have been doing for thousands of years
No one does it better
every beaver family is dedicated to the job
excavating, logging
building channels and dams
They build whole landscapes for hundreds of other creatures
In 2002, we had the worst drought on record
The only places where we had water was where we had beaver
So after we nearly eliminated them,
Some very interesting people are working to bring them back
I am a hairdresser, honey. I like HBO I want a toilet that flushes
But for some reason when there's wild life involved, especially beaver, I'm kind of fearless
Now I'm a hairdress, and a live beaver trapper
Hi! Who's this sweet little
Come here sweetie, come here sweetie
With the other animals that I've rehabbed, you want to limit your contact
but for the beaver because they're so family-oriented they need to feel nurtured
We brought you some new family members
I'm delighted I'm not sure how many there are
hopefully they'll be babies. Yeah yeah this is good
wonderful
North America's fertile landscape is the work of one animal more than any other
but building a garden of Eden isn't easy
you must fell hundreds of trees to dam a river
then build a castle with a moat filled by a flood that spreads over several acres
yet beavers don't look like the kind of animal that can change the world
somewhat blind and slow they seem like simple folk
but this overgrown rodent is an extraordinary engineer
the landscapes of Europe, Asia and North America
were once dominated by millions of these hard-working builders
beavers are vegetarians
they gnaw through bark to eat the sugary layer underneath
which makes them orange
they grow continuously and even self sharpen
the pond makes it easier to move around the heavy logs they need to build their dams
out of the water, it's a struggle
stones help way down the base
the whole family works together, carefully interlocking the timber
they dredge mud from the pond bottom to seal the damn
each pond trap several inches of sediment every year, so there's plenty of it
the young act as apprentice builders learning the tricks of the trade
the final results are impressive
in the Rocky Mountains beaver dams slowly filter billions of tons of water
the ponds build up soil and nutrients and help prevent floods and droughts
but hundreds of years ago, beavers were most valued for something else
when Europeans arrived in North America
they found beavers dominating the landscape, from Mexico to the Arctic
they were said to be industrious enough to hold the Niagara Falls
but their fur made fantastic felt hats
for 200 years they were trapped near extinction
then fashions changed and we lost interest
only a few beavers survived
now they are recovery, but they're finding a changed world full of houses and farms
as beavers reclaim their ancestral ponds they flood hundreds of human homes
anywhere with a rich soil was probably once a beaver pond now housing
developments golf courses and farms find that beavers are just a problem though
half the soil maybe thanks to beavers farmers prefer the land under their control
but beavers don't give up
in Canada clearing dams from culverts under Rhodes is the job of highway
maintenance
that's thousands of cubic meters of water that we have to get rid of if we
can't get rid of it here where it's supposed to go
it's going to end up on the infrastructure it's going to end up in
the ditches it's going to end up backing up into basements it's you know it's
gonna end up everywhere
they are excellent hydro engineers and they will figure out ways to work around
just what everything we all know the water doesn't always go where we want it
to the beaver has a very amazing way of getting getting it to work for
we don't always know that if we could learn more about their practices and how
to get that to work i did it would be great if you could train them to put it
where you need it
that would be ideal if if you could simply put up a little arrow sign or a
water this way it would
yeah but you'd be smiling but unfortunately they don't read very well
and they just kind of do what they want to do
there is one place where the beavers do seem to be reading the signs and doing
more or less as instructed
in gatineau park near ottawa the local beavers follow the directions of
self-styled Bieber whisperer
Michelle eclair fit in the hours even better
but you still have ear all around so 30 years ago
leclair was hired to stop beavers from the flooding roads around the 140 square
miles of Gatineau Park the only solution then was to kill the animals and destroy
their dams
some people call them equal zero some people go them
pest so dependable
it's all about how much program you have to do with them and when you have work
program with them and you don't know how to resolve them they are not be very row
that's for sure
they passed the major problem is is flooding rules
the beaver dam accumulates water and if the water pressure is too big
the beaver dam just bust and then there's a big out through water that
cuts rose in half
what happens is that the road just gets cut off complete
gatineau park has hundreds of miles of roads threatened in many places by
beavers damming up culverts my starting eight hours a day and breaking them and
the first day I came here
82 time well equipped teams dismantled dams by day but the Beavers rebuilt them
every night
what the hell's the problem
what they do and what they did it and you're going to fight against them
you want to be a war and i'm sure i'm not sure if you're going to win that
sure mclaren his colleagues trapped a thousand bieber's a year in the wildlife
park and beavers were the only ones caught
great blue herons turtles hotter
you never know what you're going to get in your trap so I didn't like it very
much
it was horrible leclair wanted to find another way and thought that beaver
behavior might offer a solution
first thing is a song of water running
he places a recording of a running stream on top of the beaver dam
so now you're going to see what the beaver reactions and the beavers gonna
dance or it over the night
a small tree takes a few minutes
it's perhaps an hour for bigger trees and branches
and half the night for a 12 inch thick trunk
aspen poplar and Willow are usually the favorites
Bieber's have been crushed by falling trees but that doesn't happen often
over the course of the year they may clear several acres of trees most
rodents have a high work rate but beavers are probably the busiest they
have a reputation to keep up
the dams owners have buried the stereo with branches and mud that they made
that sounds very exciting for them
that's exactly the same here that's all it's time to work
running water is to a beaver like the sound of the plug being pulled draining
their pond
leclair thought he could use this knowledge to stop beavers from gamming
inside culverts and flooding nearby rose
he spoke to a supervisor Shelby am
the technique was a bit odd but it made sense to us so let's try to go ahead and
do it because we can't travel constantly in the park we have to do something else
so that's what we did
McLaren's idea was to shift the sound of the running water
he puts in posts 15 feet away from the culvert the Beavers obliged by building
their damn in the new location
not under the road
he also lays down sections of pipe and the Beavers incorporate them into the
damn i going to open that pipe over there to the water water when the water
gets a little high
Michel simply pulls the plug for a short time and lowers the level in the pond
ok
you have to be a plumber yeah I'm a plumber of the beaver dam i put drink
like you do I can house to the garage door water running
if its work here is gonna work all over the place so we are just at the turning
point where we have to spread that knowledge and the bigger they are p cost
last less work and everybody's happy that way


in the Rocky Mountains the benefits of a Beaver's pond are seen most easily in
spring millions of acres of wetlands provide safety and food for many birds
and mammals a thousand years ago almost every creak would have had chains of
dams down each valley
for many animals they are still essential
moose make special trips to beaver ponds to eat the water weed
it's full of nutrients like sodium and potassium that are often scarce in the
surrounding forest
for the Beavers the pond helps to keep out bears and wolves
one of the parents tail slaps to sound the alarm

the beaver family provides protection for all the residents like a kindly
landlord and the deeper the pond
the safer they are
and
even good swimmers such as Grizzlies are out of their depth beavers excavate deed
channels as escape routes they can stay under hidden for 15 minutes
secret entrances and exits are the only way in and out of their fortified lodge
inside safe are the young called kits
it's May and they are a few weeks old and supplementing the richest milk of
any land mammal with fresh green leaves
unlike most rodents beavers take years to grow up
there's a lot to learn to become nature's greatest engineer
they'll receive toilet training to using one of the underwater doors
the one year olds help in the nursery by washing the bedding outside is a
two-year-old
he's like a teenage apprentice getting the final lessons before leaving home
his father is demonstrating some basic repairs but even when the lodge and damn
are watertight
there are major job still to do as spring progresses the nearby trees are
felled one by one
it is the beginning of the creation of a broad meadow rich with silt
new pods are created and canals Doug to reach the more distant trees
channels wide enough for branches may reach out hundreds of yards from the
original river families may end up with over a dozen dams and an intricate maze
of waterways by the nineteen nineties scientists began to investigate the
wider effects beavers were having on the landscape
dr. Glennis hood has made them her lights work
she lives on the edge of shelter island national park in Alberta a hundred and
fifty years ago
the beavers here were all trapped and killed for the fur trade
they were reintroduced in 1941 seven rivers were brought up from about by
train and put into the park and the beaver population was able to
re-establish itself the park kept meticulous records
I had these great old maps that the wardens have done by hand marking down
the active and inactive sites of beaver ponds as she traveled through 54 years
of data a pattern emerged
it was assumed beavers built their homes where there was already lots of water
and their presence wouldn't actually increase the total amount of water by
much
what we found was the opposite
and this is when science gets really exciting is when you're proven wrong
the unexpected results are the ones that make you take a second look and I we
calculated everything just to make sure I wasn't making a numerical error
because the results they were spectacular
the ponds with active beaver in them had nine times more open water in them than
those exact same ponds when the Beavers weren't there
how they did that in part was they were digging these channels the bottom of a
beaver pond is really really convoluted like flying through the Grand Canyon
where you've got these deep world valleys and dynamic on bottoms deeper
pause keep more water because you have less evaporation coming off of them
well beavers were using that to their advantage there digging deeper and
deeper and allowing water to focus in here so the plans with fever had water
the plants without beaver didn't
plain and simple in 2002 we had the worst drought on record
the only places where we had water in natural areas where we had beaver and
farmers were actually seeking out
neighbors who had beavers on their landscape to water their cattle so with
beavers back on the land
even during the worst drought on record they were mitigating the effects of
drugs and keeping water on the landscape
beavers turn deserts
into gardens

dr. Suzanne fatty and biologists Carol Evans could hardly believe what they
found in Nevada
oh my god I'm such a desert environment you understand the value of this you
know
ok well the pictures don't do it justice they don't know this is a style of you
or but there's probably about 20 miles and have a proper look like this and
this registration everywhere its qualities but what you see is just one
series of beaverdams after another
look everything is doing everything else and all the world like everything is
kicking into this specifies the uplands are completely dry and if we lost this
the impact would be in your messages
you know wow that's impressive isn't it always have to get you paid me to feel
the wind the heat you need to see the Greens you can add a little water
I'm seeing a lot of baby wildlife being produced
I'm seeing mule deer with their phones up and down this whole thing
sandhill cranes are up kind of a rare species that's declining somewhat so
this is important area for them
so there's many species of wild like that just came in to these ribbons of
green just amazing
they're a good size isn't it only only record those ok I'm coming off the
Beaver Dam one . two feet
follow you ok it's pretty deep there yeah okay
oh my god really drops often are you probably like five and a half five and a
half feet d that's really amazing the amount of water storage in here is
phenomenal
if we had gone down 20 years ago here Suzanne this would have been a oh yeah
it is
a couple feet wide and a couple interesting and would have dried up 20
years ago
Susie Creek was a desert
much of the Sierra Nevada has been slowly drying ever since cattle arrived
two hundred years ago
grass soon withers and temperatures soar creeks are muddy trickles
when the summer temperatures are in the nineties and and 100 degrees
the stream channel dries out we lose our water there's no storage mechanism in
the system
in desperation cattle were kept away from the most damaged sections of
streams then a miracle happened
young beavers dispersing from distant rivers battled up the streams to start
new homes they can begin with next to nothing eating grass and building the
silt and mud
almost overnight the beaver came back in here and the bieber returning to Susie
creek caught me by surprise

that's amazing
well you know it's all about keeping water on the landscape that's the basic
building blocks of life
the bottom line is it's your ace in the hole
it's the thing that's going to pull you through the dry times the lean times if
the snow packs coming off earlier and ranchers water and we're gonna have to
figure out a way to keep it on the landscape because it's no longer going
to be stored as snow and mountains and what beaver doing all these little
itty-bitty streams is they create these small savings accounts these pockets
where it's stored
no longer is snow but its surface and groundwater understanding beavers and
how they colonize new areas is vital if they are to help us

it's midsummer in the Rocky Mountains and the new kits are exploring their
world
the one year olds are already helping more working with dad
the two-year-old apprentice seems Restless it's time for him to start his
journey into the unknown

occasionally parents come along to help but not this time
kill head upriver to establish a territory to build a dam and a lodge and
to start a new life
he passes through other beaver territories

he finds dams broken and lodges empty
the trees were depleted here after five or so years and the family moved on
only the stone foundations of the old dams remain even these remnants slow the
flow of the river and help hold the soil that was built up in the old ponds
along the creeks live trout and an otter family
unlike otters beavers don't eat fish and otters and fish don't harm beavers but
none of them are as safe here compared to living in a deeper
well my serious trouble a lucky few are rescued and end up in animal rehab
timber was placed in Michelle grants care in ontario canada when he got into
trouble three months back
he's well enough now to be taken for walks
he arrived injured and traumatized
it turns it some teenage boys had found this little fellow
and they were pitching him around like a football and some girls saw that got the
baby away from them and found out that we were a facility that would be willing
to receive them with the other animals that have rehabbed you want to limit
your contact because to release some having had too much contact will be
detrimental
but for the beaver because they're so family-oriented they need to be close
they need to feel nurtured so I worry about that
timber just one year old should still have a year to learn from parents and
siblings but michelle has no other beavers to help teach him body she will
have to be his family and prepare him for the wild
good morning
he's a seat man
if I had several beavers it would be a different experience they would bond
with each other more than having that relationship with me can you see me
created here come in here and see one sign of affection between beavers is the
touching of noses the sweet boy is to avoid the sort of you are to be born
with can see coming
hi good morning good morning good morning
even in a wild family beavers have to learn basic skills like chewing the bark
off sticks but now months into the process
timber is still eating bieber baby food
we would put sticks in a way with branches and kind of all summer waited
and waited and there was no sticks with a bar chewed off
I think all your sticks can still use a little work there little man
it's a skill he needs to learn or he'll never survive on his own
we try to provide an environment that will nurture behaviors that are natural
for them so developmentally you could just tell we had kind of reached a spot
where he needed more he needed to be in a pond environment scary because maybe
he would just swim away and never come back
so why I made a decision a murky pond or not that I would swim with them so that
I would be closed and he would feel the safety of family but that he could
venture out for his development and do what Bevers do
timber has bonded with Michelle and now it's only a question of timing
keep him too long and he'll grow too attached to a human rejecting the wild
beavers he'll need to survive when he's released next year anyway these days
yeah you hungry bring these days I google wait are you a good boy
in contrast the teenage apprentice a year older and traveling upriver on his
own has survived

he has at last found a quiet section of swampy backwater
beavers were here before but not recently
there is a disused lodge and a half broken Dam
maybe the food ran out and the family left now
the trees are growing back and there is plenty to eat
the sound of escaping water is all the encouragement he needs

beaver dams often outlast their original builders the preserved what in one damn
was found to be over a thousand years old
the water level starts to rise
in mid-summer many young people are on the move
if another male appears the two-year-old may have to fight to stay within a few
days
the pond is noticeably deeper
he's working day and night to repair the dam with only insects and bats for
company

after a month his fairytale lake is ready
all he needs now is a princess



one night another beaver comes traveling downstream a female






beaver courtship is rarely seen the couple wrestle and nuzzle and play

very few animals form partnerships that last a lifetime
like swans beavers remain with their mates for the rest of their lives
maybe 15 years



it's enough
they will change the landscape together and restore a lost world

reintroducing beavers to heal the land is happening across North America
when Marnie Johnson was a girl beavers filled this valley in Colorado
i would say there were at least a dozen beaver dams
my brother and I loved it because they back up enough water we can swim
yeah today Marnie and her son Mark dream of returning beavers to Beaver Creek
I've known beaver for 81 years and it seemed like this valley should have the
beaver that were here when we my father first came in and homesteaded and I've
never been happy about not having the beaver in the beaver were here once they
should be here again
it's it's the today she's the top live trapper of beavers in North America
beaver are definitely a keystone species to an aquatic ecosystem a key stone is
like a bridge and you have that one stone that will hold that whole bridge
together
ok that locks it in beaver lock the aquatic ecosystem in if you pull that
one stone out it all collapses in on itself
creeks and rivers are alive with life they're supposed to meander they're
supposed to be curvy like me they move they support life they are life and
Beaver are the keystone species that keeps that aquatic life
clicking along these beavers were rescued from a drainage ditch
they were battling to maintain their pond in the middle of a new housing
development we are asking so much of these animals and we are displacing them
they've moved into a place where they should be and we don't want them there
so if we're going to mess around with them then we need to treat them as well
as possible and then put them at a place where they can live out their lives
Sherry's priority is keeping the family together
okay babies how exciting huh
now you're really moving I don't order them out of a catalog you get what i get
if the beaver comes in a family
if they've got like four kids that's what you're gonna get
I'm not leaving anybody behind
in

I'm delighted now to have the beaver coming back in and i'm not sure how many
there are but we're looking forward to it
hopefully they'll be babies are you doing
we got you some new family members
this is good well you always do population that's fantastic
you're in there I still feel the excitement even though i'm getting
holding crotchety
we've had them for a while and this little female hear her mate was hit by a
car
so she's alone to the teeth look at the team always amazed me that those little
came and went to Aspen trend that big around girl little girl and you know
something
it's not unusual to catch kits with adults and only one time in 28 years
we've caught him with the female the mother
they're always with her dad I just love that it's like dad's out showing him
around showing him the ropes and stuff it's just real sweet
they are ready and they just seem to know - they sure do seem to know
I think we should do is we'll turn the little girl loose first
yeah yeah this is good

oh this is a rush
I'm so pleased it's so exciting to see them come in and watch him splash into
the clear stream if these beaver do with their primal ancestors did 60 years ago
but we're standing today i have four feet of water in it and up
that's exciting you take enough nearly 85 year old woman back to her entire
life
this is going to this is something that will I don't know how to put it into
words because this was my life this is how they were love the beaver grew up
with them like to thank you and thanks sherry

Sherry's joy is tempered by her knowledge that reintroducing beavers is
not without risk
we gave beaver to a sheep rancher and lions got him
so that's that so we didn't put beaver there again you know and so I'm like
anxious for them but then i have the best wishes for them just comes a time
when you have to let your kids Cole build their own life in home
in Northern Ontario
Michelle grant schools timber rescued one year old
there's a year of training plan before he needs to be ready in between trips
he's making progress
yeah so many sticks he has started to demonstrate the potential building and
we have his first stick stick stick just this early sep tember he started to rain
sticks so that's become quite exciting here
I think they develop at different times but he's now starting to do all the
natural things that he should do
slowly it's all coming together
he'll go through the pond and he just comes back to me as kind of a safety net
he's becoming secured himself and secure and his abilities at the pond
I think the biggest thing that I've seen from him is his ability to to swim and
breath hold is amazing
from the first time I had him down he may be went under water for three to
five seconds really and now I lose them he's gone for maybe up to a minute or
more
still michelle believed timber is not nearly ready to go it alone
they certainly have a ways to go in his development and certainly they don't
make sure to her -
he would not make it through his first year on his own but timber appears to
disagree and suddenly vanishes

you could always feel his presence and I couldn't and so I knew he wasn't there
there was no beaver in that pond
he was gone she searched for six hours now
all michelle can do is wait



fall is a busy time for wild beavers

in the rocky mountains and away from home for the first time a two year old
has repaired a vacant pond and managed to find a young mate
the couple is fixing up the lodge as soon as the kits come it will fall to
the young male to keep their home sealed and secure all winter
just like his dad showed him
inside they have hollowed out chambers for sleeping and eating and it made
several underwater entrances the end of summer is when beaver stock their larder
and this an experienced para may have left it too late
beavers don't hibernate
so they'll need food they set to work cutting trees and storing them
underwater branches are wedged in the month so that they remain underwater the
pond will freeze on the surface but their stores will stay fresh and
accessible all winter
m or the lodge they race against the oncoming winter back in ontario Michelle
grants first attempt to bring up an orphaned beaver has gone wrong
timber disappeared weeks ago and there's no sign of him
today she's blaming herself what did I do
did I make the right moves I'm constantly wondering did I do the right
things
I felt that I needed to continue to look for him to find evidence one way or the
other whether he survived
so I went to regularly and several weeks after he had released
I found a beaver skull out in the field that had come from the pond
I've never found a beaver skull in that field before I truly I was devastated I
i thought you know i'm not even sure if i can continue rehab work because I
wasn't ready for that I wasn't prepared it wasn't kind of the story i'd written
of of how I wanted his release to go
so it was shocking for me
and then one day I went to a neighbor's ponds and
hi
get to see
he was there
within a very short period of time I saw him interacting with an adult
beaver there was a mom there was two kits and he appeared to take on the role
of the yearling part of raising the young ones being part of this be her
family and he surfaced rates beside my kayaks through the lily pads and there I
looked down and there was this little head
look well
you have a beautiful family and then the mum or one of the kids had come by and
report the water and it was time to go back and be part of his family and he
just drove down and and off he went
so it's awesome
it was like thanks very much but I'm wild
honestly as a rehabber hoping that i was doing the right things
it was all validated in that moment
if any animal can represent the spirit of North America
it should be the beaver they battle the elements with courage furnish a home
they built themselves and support a devoted family
like the early settlers beavers stock up a larder then hunker down for the winter

for a pair of young wild beavers the larder runs out before spring arrives
the male has to risk the Predators to collect food


favors do slow down a bit in winter but they still keep busy sorting out food
and bedding
they need to
there's a new family on the way
and they are not alone inside the lodge are lodgers a muskrat couple
they share the grass and branches the beaver supply while its - 20 outside
it's rarely been known to freeze inside so it's also a refuge for frogs and
insects
there's a deer mouse family
it's quite a hotel to run all winter
beavers with their ponds and summer watering the desert and their lodges and
larders in winter support the whole community
they all seem to get along
in fact there was only one intruder the Beavers objected to and that was us and
our little cameras which they soon dealt with
perhaps after all we've put them through for centuries
we owe them a bit of space
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Leave It To Beavers (Full Documentary)

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CV 2017 年 2 月 9 日 に公開
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