Research aimed at understanding physical and ecological outcomes following dam removal have increased, but roles of terrestrial fauna in the restoration process remain poorly understood.
Wildlife play reciprocal roles in restoration: they benefit from restored habitats and their activities affect restoration trajectories. Scientists from the USGS, Western Washington University, and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe considered how terrestrial fauna influence and are affected by short-term patterns and potential future processes from the recent removal of two large dams on the Elwha River in Washington State. Authors applied insights from observations of Elwha wildlife to outline potential roles of terrestrial fauna as both objects and agents of restoration success in this and other large restoration projects. They posited that measuring the roles and responses of terrestrial fauna following dam removal will help researchers and managers fully appreciate their role in the restoration process.
McCaffery, R.M., McLaughlin, J., Sager-Fradkin, K.A., Jenkins, K.J., 2018, Terrestrial fauna are agents and endpoints in ecosystem restoration following dam removal: Ecological Restoration, v. 36, no. 2, p. 97-107, https://doi.org/10.3368/er.36.2.97.