World Wildlife Fund Sustainability Works

a beaver chews on grass

Beavers Support Freshwater Conservation for WWF’s Finish Partnership

  • Date: 11 April 2024

One of America’s most important and endangered rivers, the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo is home to more mammal species than Yellowstone National Park, more reptile species than the Sonoran Desert, more bird species than the Florida Everglades, and nearly 50% of all fish species found nowhere else in the world. This ecological treasure is teeming with biodiversity, but it is threatened by water scarcity – and without intervention, it may not be able to continue to support the millions of people and wildlife that rely on it.

That is why WWF is partnering with Finish to help protect and replenish the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo. Through this partnership, Finish is supporting WWF’s conservation work to help replenish the river alongside local organizations. Finish is also building awareness about the importance of water conservation by encouraging consumers to adopt simple, water-friendly habits in their homes, such as skipping the rinse when loading the dishwasher.

Among the diverse and incredible species connected to the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo, one stands out as a natural supporter of conservation – the beaver. This industrious species is known for their feats of engineering building dams that help to create vital wetland habitats for healthy ecosystems. Their handiwork also supports water conservation by retaining water in rivers, mitigating floods, ensuring a steady water supply, and serving as a natural water filtration system.

Beaver dams are so important that WWF experts have used them as a blueprint for creating human-made structures called beaver dam analogs, that serve to mimic natural beaver dam benefits. In fact, WWF conservation staff are using these artificial dams as part of the plan for ecosystem restoration and replenishment in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo basin, with the work funded by Finish.

Support from partners like Finish helps WWF to continue this important water conservation work, alongside unsung species heroes, like beavers. Together we hope to build a climate resilient water management system that will support the human and animal communities (including beavers) in the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo river basin and create awareness of critical freshwater ecosystems and encourage behavior change among the general public, too.