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The Importance of Natural Stream Crossings

Streams and wetlands serve as vital wildlife corridors, allowing various aquatic and terrestrial species to travel in and along these resources. Natural crossings, such as the woody debris shown in the video, provide safe passage for wildlife to cross and explore new areas.

This collection of videos was captured at a natural stream crossing on one of our preserves. The crossing was created from a collection of sticks and woody debris, likely from beaver activity. Throughout the videos, we observe 16 different species traveling through one section of the stream. This video showcases the incredible species richness found within our preserves, highlighting the importance of protecting them.

Beavers are frequently viewed as a nuisance species by humans because of the impacts they can have on our property. This video emphasizes the critical role of beavers in creating different ecosystems. By building these crossings, beavers provide an easy way for terrestrial animals to cross the stream while simultaneously slowing down the water flow, which creates additional wetland habitat and reduces erosion. Often these debris jams still allow fish to pass through, preserving the aquatic ecosystem.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that seemingly benign aspects of an environment can be incredibly important. The video demonstrates the value of preserving natural habitats and how even small interventions, such as woody debris crossings, can have a significant impact on the health and diversity of ecosystems.

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