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Beavers Spotted Near DTE Energy's River Rouge Plant

New evidence shows the Detroit River is once again becoming home to beavers in Southeast Michigan.

New evidence released this week reveals that the Detroit River is once again becoming home to the beaver.

According to the Detroit Free Press, a trail camera set up at DTE Energy's River Rouge Power Plant recently caught images of a beaver dragging a small tree into the river.

"They could be expanding their range," John Hartig, manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge told the newspaper.

Following a long absence, beaver sightings have been popping up around the area since 2009. Last year, Rick Simek of the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Environmental Interpretive Center reported a beaver in the Rouge River.

But what might seem like a normal occurrence could actually be a sign of the increasing water and habitat quality of the Rouge watershed.

According to an article written by Simek, beaver trapping led to the local extinction of the species in Metro Detroit in the 1830s, with "no traces of the species left by 1877."

The DTE video is proof of the beaver's return to Dearborn more than a century later.

And it's good news for the Rouge, too.

Beaver dams—according to the national group Beavers, Wetlands, and Wildlife—are known to improve the natural habitat for other animals, as well as the local water quality.

Read the complete story on The Detroit Free Press website.

Millie March 18, 2013 at 07:35 PM
I spotted one on the street in Immaterial a few days ago. It ran before I could get my camera out. Could not believe it.
Daniel Lai March 18, 2013 at 07:49 PM
Oh wow. That's neat. Too bad it ran before you could snap a photo!
Heidi Perryman March 19, 2013 at 01:46 PM
Beavers returning to urban/damaged cities is a restoration tale across the U.S. I became an accidental beaver advocate when a colony moved into my city 5 years ago and instead of trapping, public support forced the city to install a flow device which has controlled flooding since that time. Now because of our beaver-created wetlands we regularly see otter, steelhead, woodduck and even mink in our tiny urban stream! We even hold a yearly beaver festival to teach other cities what we learned! Beavers dams improve fish population diversity and density, augment wildlife, raise the water tables and filter toxins. Their chewing even stimulates new growth that creates ideal nesting habitat – meaning that as the number of dams go up the number of migratory and songbirds also go up. Beavers are the trickle-down economy that works! Heidi Perryman, Ph.D. Worth A Dam. www.martinezbeavers.org

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