Animal Facts

Hardworking loggers and dam builders, beavers are a keystone species – their diversion of water and creation of habitat is critical for many other aquatic and riparian animals. Beavers are crepuscular – they tend to be most active during the early morning and evening hours. Both males and females have thick, dark brown fur and a paddle-shaped tail.

Heavily trapped mostly by Canadian fur companies, by the mid 1800s, they were almost trapped to extinction. Beavers typically grow too 30 to 60 pounds, but the largest one on record weighed 90 pounds.

Beavers eat willow and aspen tree bark, as well as submerged aquatic vegetation and pond lilies.

Conservation Challenges

Beavers are frequent targets of trappers for their fur. Traps are extremely cruel, and their victims often suffer for days before death. Additionally, traps are indiscriminate and frequently harm other species that become accidentally ensnared. Occasionally, dogs with duck hunters get trapped and killed.

Beaver in Snow by Kent Nelson

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