Beavers

Beavers

About Beavers

The beaver (genus Castor) is a primarily nocturnal, large, semi-aquatic rodent. Castor includes two extant species, North American beaver (Castor canadensis) (native to North America) and Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) (Eurasia). Beavers are known for building dams, canals, and lodges (homes). They are the second-largest rodent in the world (after the capybara). Their colonies create one or more dams to provide still, deep water to protect against predators, and to float food and building material. The North American beaver population was once more than 60 million, but as of 1988 was 612 million. This population decline is due to extensive hunting for fur, for glands used as medicine and perfume, and because their harvesting of trees and flooding of waterways may interfere with other land uses. Beavers are known for their natural trait of building dams on rivers and streams, and building their homes (known as 'lodges') in the resulting pond.