Author Results: J. WheatonBack
Beavers are ecosystem engineers that create and maintain riparian wetland ecosystems in a variety of ecologic, climatic, and physical settings. Despite the large-scale implications of ongoing beaver conservation and range expansion, relatively few landscape-scale studies have been conducted, due in part to the significant time required to manually locate beaver dams at scale. To address this need, we developed EEAGER—an image recognition machine learning model that detects beaver complexes in aerial and satellite imagery. We developed the model in the western United States using 13,344 known beaver dam locations and 56,728 nearby locations without beaver dams. Performance assessment was performed in twelve held out evaluation polygons of known beaver occupancy but previously unmapped dam locations. These polygons represented regions similar to the training data as well as more novel landscape settings. Our model performed well overall (accuracy = 98.5%, recall = 63.03%, precision = 25.83%) in these areas, with stronger performance in regions similar to where the model had been trained. We favored recall over precision, which results in a more complete catalog of beaver dams found but also a higher incidence of false positives to be manually removed during quality control. These results have far-reaching implications for monitoring of beaver-based river restoration, as well as potential applications detecting other complex landforms.
A decision support and planning tool for beaver management, to analyze all perennial rivers and streams in Utah. This model assess the upper limits of riverscapes to support beaver dam-building activities.
Idaho Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool Building Realistic Expectations for Partnering with Beaver in Conservation and Restoration
Traditional restoration efforts are barely scratching the surface of what could be restored. Moreover, a disproportionate amount of funds are spent on too few miles of streams and rivers leaving millions of miles of degraded streams neglected. To fill this gap, restoration practitioners are increasingly trying restoration techniques that are more cost?effective, less intensive, and can more practically scale up to the enormous scope of degradation.
In this study, we tracked beaver dam distributions and monitored water temperature throughout 34 km of stream for an eight-year period between 2007 and 2014. Our results suggest that creation of natural and/or artificial beaver dams could be used to mitigate the impact of human induced thermal degradation that may threaten sensitive species.
Mimicking & Promoting Wood Accumulation & Beaver Dam Activity with Post-Assisted Log Structures & Beaver Dam Analogues
Description of the design process for two types of low-tech structures, post-assisted log structures (PALS) and beaver dam analogues (BDAs).
The Low-Tech Process Based Restoration of Riverscapes Pocket Guide is an illustrated and condensed version of the Design Manual. The pocket guide is designed to fit in your pocket (4 x 6”) to use as a reference in the field. 2019.
Identifying Where to Place Beavers and When to Use Beaver Mimicry for Low Tech Restoration in the Arid West
This second webinar in the ASWM-BLM Beaver Restoration Webinar Series focuses on making decisions about where beaver restoration and/or the use of beaver dam analogs (BDA) can have the greatest positive and least negative impacts. It includes a demonstration of Utah State University’s Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool (BRAT), a model that helps planners assess key parameters essential to beaver work.
Ecosystem experiment reveals benefits of natural and simulated beaver dams to a threatened population of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) 2016
Large-scale experiment to quantify the benefits of beavers and beaver dam analogues to a fish population and its habitat
This study quantifies the impacts of beaver on stream hydrologic and temperature regimes, and highlights the importance of understanding the spatial and temporal scales of those impacts. We explored the impacts of beaver dams on hydrologic and temperature regimes at different spatial and temporal scales within a mountain stream in northern Utah over a 3-year period spanning pre- and post-beaver colonization.
The Utah Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool (BRAT) serves as a decision support and planning tool intended to help resource managers, restoration practitioners, wildlife biologists and researchers assess the potential for beaver as a stream conservation and restoration agent over large regions.
This study proposes that live vegetation and beaver dams or beaver dam analogues can substantially accelerate the recovery of incised streams and can help create and maintain complex fluvial ecosystems.
Tested how assisting beaver to create stable colonies and aggrade incised reaches of Bridge Creek could create measurable improvements in riparian and stream habitat conditions and abundance of native steelhead.