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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

While there is some debate about whether Beavers historically inhabited California, records by trappers and recollections of trappers suggest that Beavers did roam the state from Northern California south to San Diego........There are stuffed museum specimens in Santa Clara and Sespe,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and words in the Washoe and Maidu indian languages that translate to "beaver".............. radiocarbon dated remains of a beaver taken from the Sierra Mtns indicate Beaver survived there until the Goldrush era --circa 1850....................Bottom line is that most scientists have cocluded that Beaver are not exotic to California, but in fact a native species.



 of the



 of Beaver







North American beaver
 (Castor canadensis)
 have been shown to
 have beneficial effects
 on salmonids, particularly
 in the arid West.
 Positive effects include
 creation of oversummering
 habitat (beaver ponds)
for first year fish, conversion
 of seasonal streams to
perennial, removal of
 sediments and pollutants
 via wetland creation, etc
. Beaver are widely regarded
 as non-native in the
 Sierra Nevada, the San
 Francisco Bay Area proper,
 and coastal central and
southern California. However,
 there are no recent reviews
 of the evidence for or
against the historical range of
 beaver in California.

A review and integration of
 multiple lines of
evidence, including historical
naturalist and fur
 trapper records,
 oral histories, museum
specimens, ethnographic
 material such as pictographs
 and ceremonial items,
evaluation of habitat
suitability, as well as
 radiocarbon dating of
 remnant beaver dams was
Early naturalist records
 suggest that beaver were
 present as far south as
 San Diego, and accounts
 of fur
 trappers suggest that beaver
 were present in the San
Francisco Bay Area. Oral
 histories place beaver in
the high Sierra in the Kings
 River and Carson River
 watersheds. Museum
 specimen records include
 beaver collected in 1855 in
Santa Clara, California
 and in 1906 in Sespe,
California by experienced
collectors. Native American
 pre- European contact
 words for beaver exist for
 eastern and mountain
 Sierra Nevada tribes
including the Washoe and
Mountain Maidu. The
 authenticity of the Sespe
 Creek specimen is supported
 by the presence of a
Chumash pictograph of a
beaver at Painted Rock
 in the Cuyama watershed
 in the Sierra Madre
 mountains, about 35 miles
 from the Sespe Creek

 A historical Chumash
 shaman’s rain making kit
 made from the skin of a
 beaver tail was also collected
near this area in the Sierra
 Madre. Suitability of habitat
in California is established
based on the 70-year
 success of beaver re-
introductions in the Sierras,
 Bay Area, coastal California,
and southern California

current range of restored
 Beaver in Calif.

 including Santa Barbara,
 Riverside and San Diego
Counties. Finally, radiocarbon
dated remains of a
remnant beaver dam in Red
 Clover Creek above 4,500
 feet in the Sierras suggest
beaver were present
in the high Sierra until
 1850 A.D.
The presence of beaver may
 be up to 80 times more
 efficient than large, woody
 debris in promoting
 salmon reproductive success.
 Grinnell’s 1937
 assertions that beaver were only
 present in the Pit
 and Klamath River drainages
 (C. c. shastensis),
the Central Valley
 (C. c. subauratus) and the
Colorado River (C. c. repentinus),
 appear to be
 based on contemporary trappers’
interviews and
 an incomplete review of museum
specimen records.
New information suggests that
 beaver were
 once widespread in much,
if not most, of California,
 and the success of the circa
1940 re-introductions
 throughout the state for
 70 years confirms that
 habitat is suitable in coastal
 streams (Big River
 (Mendocino County),
Pescadero Creek
(San Mateo County),
Santa Ynez River
 (Santa Barbara County),
 Santa Margharita River
 (Riverside and San
 Diego Counties), Lake
Tahoe and Yosemite).
The States of
 Utah and New Mexico have
 formal plans to
reintroduce beaver to restore
streams and fish habitat.
Although it cannot be proven
 that beaver were
 present statewide in California,
 an integration of the
findings here suggests that
beaver were native to
 much of the state, contrary
 to previous assertions.