Are There Beavers Living in Booth Park?
A reader sent in this picture, asking: is this a collection of sticks and mud in Birmingham's Booth Park a beaver dam?
Could there be a beavers living along the Rouge River in Birmingham?
One reader was wondering that very thing, tweeting a picture of what appears to be a beaver dam along the wood chip trail in Birmingham's Booth Park.
According to the photographer, resident Mary Ellen Johnson, the photo was snapped this weekend during a walk along the trail. Her dog, she said, even used the collection of sticks, leaves and mud to cross the Rouge River as it runs through that section of Booth Park.
Beavers in the Rouge River have been top of mind for many area naturalists recently. In the spring newsletter for the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Environmental Interpretative Center (EIC), the EIC's Rich Simek writes that he snapped a picture of a beaver swimming in the Rouge River in Dearborn in July 2012.
The sighting was a big deal: beaver trapping in the 19th century led to the local extinction of the species in the 1830's, but Simek's sighting could be a sign that water habitats are improving along the Rouge.
In addition, beaver dams are known to improve the natural habitat for other animals as wells, the national group Beavers, Wetlands, and Wildlife reports.
While the jury is still out on whether beavers have returned to Birmingham, some residents claim there are beavers living in the city's borders.
"My house backs up to the Rouge River overlooking Linden Park and I saw two beavers swimming down the Rouge River last spring when walking through the park," Michael Stewart writes on Patch. "They even stopped and played a little. I was very excited. I thought they were just passing through."
What kind of wildlife have you seen at Birmingham's parks lately?