Bronx, NY – Friday, Oct. 1, 2010 – The community has voted and the second newly discovered beaver in the Bronx River has a name – Justin Beaver.
Last week, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced the discovery of a second beaver living in the Bronx River and decided to let the community vote on a name. As it turns out, the contest was not even close as “Justin Beaver” received the overwhelming majority of the votes.
With the discovery of Justin, New York City’s known beaver population doubled since Bronx River resident, José the Beaver, named in honor of U.S. Rep. José E. Serrano (D-Bronx), was discovered in early 2007 living near the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. Justin, the second beaver, was recently spotted and photographed with José near the shore of the only freshwater river in New York City.
“We are thrilled to see that the community is embracing the Bronx River and its newest inhabitant,” said John Calvelli, WCS’s Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. “Everyone that lives and works in the Bronx should be proud of the ecological rebound that the Bronx River has made. José and Justin certainly appreciate it.”
Wild beavers have been absent within the city limits since colonial times when the species was hunted to local extinction for its luxurious pelt. The beaver is the state mammal of New York and the animal whose image adorns the official seal of New York City.
In addition to its global conservation programs, WCS is working locally to conserve wildlife and wild places in New York City. WCS is working with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to manage a federal grant secured by Serrano intended to ecologically restore the South Bronx waterfront. The partnership has seen considerable success from the 2006 reintroduction of alewife, a type of river herring, to the recently discovered population of beavers. In August, WCS announced it will study alewives as part of the newly launched New York Seascape initiative – a marine conservation program aimed at protecting the waters and marine life surrounding New York City and nearby communities.
Beavers are North America’s largest rodents, with a combined head and body length between two and three feet, and weighing between 25 and 55 pounds, with a few specimens weighing up to 90 pounds. The distinctively flat tail is between 9 inches and 1-and-a-half feet in length, and is used for steering the animal while swimming, fat storage during winter, and creating a loud slapping sound on the surface of the water for either scaring off intruders or warning other beavers of potential danger.
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s North America Program is working to ensure beavers receive recognition for their role as ecosystem engineers. Dr. John Weaver, WCS Senior Conservation Scientist, is working to promote awareness and acceptance of the iconic creatures as they are a strong ally in conserving water and biological diversity – particularly with looming impact of climate change.
Weaver is conducting extensive outreach with landowners, watershed groups, communities, and schools in the Rocky Mountains on the role of beavers in water conservation.
Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182;
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.
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