Welcome to the BRAT website. The Beaver Restoration Assessment Tool (BRAT) is planning tool intended to help researchers, restoration practitioners and resource managers assess the potential for beaver as a stream conservation and restoration agent over large regions and watersheds. At the heart of BRAT is a capacity model, which estimates the upper limit of dam density (dams per kilometer) for individual stream reaches throughout a drainage network. We focus on predicting where beavers could build dams and to what extent (as opposed to the more general case of where beaver could make a living), because it is the dam building activity they do as ecosystem engineers, which we are typically most interested in.
The BRAT model can be run with freely available national data sets, or with higher resolution data, and is used to identify opportunities, potential risks and constraints through a mix of assessment of existing resources and proximity to infrasturcture. BRAT’s backbone consists of spatial models that predict the capacity of riverscapes to support dam-building activity by beaver. By combining capacity and potential risk, researchers and resource managers have the information necessary to determine where and at what level reintroduction of beaver and/or conservation is appropriate.