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Talk: Beavers and Wyoming’s riverine ecosystems

February 2, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MST

Beaver near Swan Lake, Yellowstone National Park. NPS photo by Neal Herbert.

Ecosystem Engineers: The role of beavers in restoring and maintaining Wyoming’s riverine ecosystems

By Jerry Altermatt

February 2, 2023
Noon – 1 p.m.

Join us for our February Lunchtime Expedition, Ecosystem Engineers: The role of beavers in restoring and maintaining Wyoming’s riverine ecosystems, presented by Jerry Altermatt from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s Cody Region.

The in-person talk takes place in the Center’s Coe Auditorium, with a virtual option available.

If you prefer to join us online, you may register in advance via Zoom webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HuVDtGykRoKnq31_DS-kqQ

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

The Wyoming Game & Fish Department's Jerry Altermatt weighs a trapped beaver. Photo by Chris Martin.
The Wyoming Game & Fish Department’s Jerry Altermatt weighs a trapped beaver. Photo by Chris Martin.

About the presentation

Through dam-building activity, beavers have the ability to radically modify their environment. Landowners and managers have long recognized the positive benefits of beavers in riverine ecosystems, including flood attenuation, wetland habitat creation, and water quality improvement. Of particular importance in Wyoming is the benefit of storing water on an arid landscape.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department has used beavers as a tool for riverine ecosystem restoration since the early part of the 20th century. Department biologists live trap beavers on private lands where they are causing damage and translocate them to streams in need of restoration. In the last five years, the Department’s Cody Region has translocated more than 70 beavers to 15 locations, resulting in 60-plus dams.

About the speaker

Jerry Altermatt has been a terrestrial habitat biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Cody Region for over 30 years. He received a BS in Biology at Dickinson State University and continued his graduate studies at the University of Montana. His work in the Cody Region has focused on implementing habitat enhancement projects for the benefit of big game, upland birds and waterfowl.

Upcoming Lunchtime Expeditions

March 2Glaciers, Graduates, and Geospatial Scienceby Jacki Klancher
• April 6Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout in the Bighorn Basin by Joe Skorupski
• May 4: Functional Traits Underlie Specialist-generalist Strategies in Whitebark Pine and Limber Pine
• June 1: Golden Eagle Monitoring and Research in Yellowstone National Park
• July 6: The Future of Forests in Greater Yellowstone in a Warmer World with More Fire
• August 3: Dinosaur Paleontology in the Bighorn Basin

Support for the Draper’s Lunchtime Expedition series has been made possible by Sage Creek Ranch and the Nancy-Carroll Draper Charitable Foundation.


February 2, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MST
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Draper Natural History Museum
BUFFALO BILL CENTER OF THE WEST ◦ 720 Sheridan Avenue ◦ Cody, WY 82414 ◦ 307-587-4771Contact Us
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