The Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area is an important watershed, with 19 natural springs, tributaries to Fish Creek, and headwaters of Pine Creek. Beaver, essential stewards of the ecosystem, once thrived in the area. Through the years we have worked with various partners, including the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, The Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society (Cows and Fish), and the Miistakis Institute. This project has received support from numerous organizations including the Alberta Conservation Association, Alberta EcoTrust, Calgary Foundation and Land Stewardship Centre.
Beavers play a key role in healthy water ecology and provide the means for a flourishing ecosystem. Many animals benefit from the presence of beavers.
Our aim is to rehabilitate and reintroduce beaver, to give them a second chance in a natural setting where they are less likely to be threatened by human activity, and through these efforts restore and replenish the Pine Creek watershed.
Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area CEO Greg Shyba discusses our project to restore wetland habitat and improve water quality by reintroducing beavers to the north arm of Pine Creek. Footage courtesy Gord Hayes (2017)
In 2018, two beavers rescued and rehabilitated by the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) were released onto the ASCCA. The pair were unusual as they bonded while in captivity despite the fact that this is not usually the case if beavers are unrelated. While it can be difficult to keep track of released wildlife on our 4800-acre conservation area, we believe that these beavers and other animals released onto the area have been given a second chance at living naturally.
Did you know? Beavers aren’t the only wildlife rehabilitated and released by AIWC. We have also worked with them to release Muskrat and Swainson’s Hawks.
For more information, visit their website https://www.aiwc.ca/