CEDAR CITY -- Utah biologists are relocating beavers from private lands to improve wildlife habitat, regulate stream flows and protect the rodent.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports nine beavers are being released into a stream in southern Utah's Dixie National Forest. They are the first group of beavers moved under a state management plan for the American beaver.
Division of Wildlife Resources biologist Dustin Schiable says the state developed the management plan as an alternative to killing the animals. Prior to the plan's adoption in 2010, landowners could obtain permits to trap and kill beavers.
Grand Canyon Trust biologist Jeremy Christensen says transplanted beavers build dams on streams where runoff is a problem. Beaver ponds can also spur the development of meadows and other habitat for a variety of species.