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18 April . 2023

Leave It to Beavers: 9 Fascinating Beaver Facts

Beavers are incredible creatures. You may see (or hear a lot about) the beavers who’ve started to make themselves right at home in Tehaleh. But for many of you who may not know about the castor canadensis and its impact on American waterways, it’s worth getting to know new facts about your productive neighbors.

Beavers are crepuscular. It’s typically rare to spot beavers out and about during the day unless you find yourself waking up in the wee hours before Caffé D’arte opens. Working in the early hours of the day makes them a crepuscular animal, which means they are hard to see sometimes with the naked eye, helping them to avoid predators. It’s no surprise that as Tehaleh expands its park system, more critters have found environments fit for what they need. Beavers are an essential species who thrive around water.

Yes, beavers build dams. But did you know that they build these dams to help create a sustainable ecosystem while protecting themselves from predators? They’re famously slow on land yet their webbed back feet give them homefield advantage in the water. Beavers also create a network of canals that they use as a quick way to get around the area quickly. This way if a predator does show up, they can use the water to escape.

Beavers create diverse ecosystems. Dams control a river’s waterflow, which creates a still pool that can quickly become an ideal environment for insects, amphibians, deer, elk, and more. With that buggy population growing you’re likely to see bats, birds, and fish start to populate those areas. Beavers help increase biodiversity, so as we see their influence in Tehaleh, we may also see more animals drop by to see what the beavers helped to create.

The Beaver Brita Filter. Their efforts along waterways help to filter water as well. Think of a beaver dam on a river as a filtration system. The mucky pond settles things like fertilizer, metals, and pesticides while the beaver dam filters that water through the dam to the waterway. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use iodine or a filtration system to get your water on a hike, but their efforts can often prevent further pollution down river.

They’re quite shy! If you do see a beaver, it’s likely you’ll hear a loud slap on the water. Beavers use their tail for swimming but also as a defense against predators. That tail slap not only acts as a defense tactic, but it’s also a way to warn other beavers to hide quickly.

Beavers don’t hibernate. Much like us humans, they’re working year-round. Beavers store extra fat in their tail for the winter months as a type of reserve they can tap into as needed. A beaver’s thick and strong coat also aids in their ability to keep warm.

Beavers nearly faced extinction. This may come as a surprise considering how impactful beavers have become in popular culture, but once upon a time they were targeted due to their fur being a popular pelt used for hats. Thanks to conservation efforts, beavers have bounced back much like the bald eagle and have returned to thrive, though far from the 200 million beavers who once engineered the North American landscape.

They can digest wood pulp. While your dog might peel the bark off a stick to pass the time and carry sticks back home, beavers rely on the nutrition of wood pulp as a part of their diet. They’ll even store branches, sticks, and vegetation underwater for the winter months. Since chewing on wood isn’t recommended by 10/10 dentists beavers have an advantage: their teeth continue to grow. Chewing on trees helps to sharpen their world-renowned incisors.

Beavers are essential to salmon populations. Humans looking to save salmon have found that beavers are an essential way to protect dwindling salmon populations. Dams actually help to create a breeding ground for salmon populations. As said before, the concentration of insects provides food for a variety of animals. This is just as true for the travelling river salmon. Even better for the salmon? Beavers are herbivores so they’re not being farmed for the beaver’s benefit.

If you’re a curious animal enthusiast, birder, or just hoping to learn more about the natural world around you: Tehaleh is an observer’s paradise. It’s a true wildlife documentary here and if you want to become a part of this wonderful community, get in touch with us and we’ll set out on a great little adventure.