iBeaver: A Community Science App for Beaver!

Our friends at Defenders of Wildlife have debuted an awesome new community app called iBeaver! The app collects data on beaver distribution, habitats, beaver coexistence efforts, and more. Below, we hear more about the app from Aaron Hall and Mae Lacey.

As we know, beaver play a critical role as ecosystem engineers, their dams alter landscapes in positive ways and they provide important ecological services for humans. Therefore, it is critical to understand where beaver are currently found, where areas of suitable, uninhabited beaver habitat are located, and where habitat restoration is needed. There are many efforts underway to gather this information, but they are mostly region or project specific. Defenders of Wildlife saw an opportunity to develop a publicly available app almost anyone interested in beaver can use anywhere.

Defenders’ Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI) specializes in finding innovative applications of science, technology and policy for advancing wildlife conservation. Our beaver experts worked with CCI to use Esri’s Survey123, an app that uses survey-style questions, to create iBeaver (link https://arcg.is/19eO1e ). Over time, the information collected will fill in the knowledge gap of beaver distributions.

The data collected in iBeaver will be shared publicly: check it out in our web map, Castor Mapper (link https://arcg.is/0eTbuH ). To protect the sensitive nature of beaver locations recorded in iBeaver, the data shown in Castor Mapper are “abstracted,” meaning their locations are not exact.