A North American Beaver was discovered by San Onofre State Park officers this week at the river mouth of the San Mateo Creek.
A former native to the area, it was thought that the beaver had been long gone from the San Mateo Creek region. Surfrider reports that officials are believe the beaver is a descendant of a group of animals that were reintroduced into the San Margarita watershed by the Department of Fish and Game in 1940 in order to regulate erosion. Some years ago, a steelhead trout was also found in San Mateo Creek by a college student, despite the prior declaration that the species was endangered in the region.
And unfortunately, San Mateo Creek is also the site of a continuing
conflict between environmental groups, including Surfrider, and the
Transportation Corridor Agencies who are trying to build a toll road
project right through the watershed area.
“This discovery,” says Mark Rauscher, Surfrider Foundation's Assistant
Environmental Director, “Supports our assertion that the San Mateo
Creek has a thriving watershed ecosystem that deserves the highest
level of protection from its source in the mountains to the ocean.”
Okay, and here's the real downer, guys. The press release ends with:
“According to State Park scientists, the animal had suffered trama
prior to being found and unfortunately succumbed to those injuries
after being captured.”