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September 11, 2023
A new study hopes to provide answers for Arctic communities who are already feeling the impact of beavers on the tundra.
As more and more beavers migrate northward, there’s still a lot we don’t know about how they are changing the Northwest Territories.
Despite their diminutive stature, beavers’ habit of altering waterways can have an outsize impact on the terrain they inhabit – and, by extension, surrounding communities.
A new project called Barin, which stands for Beavers and socio-ecological Resilience in Inuit Nunangat, is looking at beaver-related changes to streams and lakes, and how those changes are impacting people.
The project is being led by principle investigators Helen Wheeler (Anglia Ruskin University) and Phillip Marsh (Wilfrid Laurier University) in collaboration with Herb Nakimayak from the Inuvialuit Fish Joint Management Committee and other partners.
In Alaska, scientists such as Ken Tape have been studying the beaver issue for years. In 2021, Tape formed the Arctic Beaver Observation Network (A-Bon) to help researchers from Alaska, Canada, Europe and Asia collaborate and share findings with local land managers.