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1285Re: Beavers great for dragonflies and damselflies!

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  • Jim Stuart
    Oct 29, 2012
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      It's a combination of factors ... not just increasing available lentic waters and beaver-cleared openings in stream channels. Beaver dams and ponds capture sediment that in turn supports herbaceous plants like sedges that many odes use as habitat. Beaver ponds, through succession, become sedge marshes and moist-soil meadows.The dams reduce impact of flash floods, hold water in the stream channel longer, and provide a buffer against the effects of drought. You can see the impact throughout the Southwest from beaver removal ... greater channel incision, reduced surface flows, and ultimately loss of surface water and the diversity of aquatic and palustrine microhabitats that odonates need.
      A few of our Southwestern species (especially here in NM) that seem to rely on or benefit from beaver activity in montane areas include a couple of the same holarctic species mentioned in this publication:
      Aeshna palmata
      Sympetrum danae
      Libellula quadrimaculata
      Leucorrhinia borealis
      Somatochlora semicircularis
      Coenagrion resolutum
      Lestes dryas


      Thanks,
      Jim

      James N. Stuart
      Albuquerque, NM
      jnstuart61 AT yahoo.com
      http://flickr.com/photos/stuartwildlife

      "All calculations based on experience elsewhere fail in New Mexico" -- Lew Wallace, New Mexico Territorial Governor, 1878-81


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