April 7 is International Beaver Day so it’s pretty obvious that we (some of Canada’s biggest Castor canadensis fans) should put together an article on some of what makes beavers so amazing. The fact that April 7 is International Beaver Day doesn’t count as one of our facts (but it can if you want a bonus round).
- The world’s largest beaver dam is about 2,790 feet long and was built by busy beaver families in Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta. Some reports indicate it can be seen from space, but we haven’t verified that (only that Google Earth shows it, which may be from aerial images, not a satellite or the ISS).
- They’re the second largest rodents in the world. Other than the capybara in South America, Canada’s beavers are truly rodents of unusual size.
- Beavers don’t live in dams – they live in lodges. Dams create the ponds that beavers love, help with food storage, and create beautiful ecosystems (before and after beavers are involved).
- We almost killed all the beavers. The beaver fur hat phase of Canada and Europe in the 19th century nearly resulted in the complete extinction of Castor canadensis. It was only by conservationists fighting against the fur trade and prolific trapping that they survived – and their populations have not resumed their natural levels across the country.
- We can coexist with beavers. In many (if not most) circumstances, beaver activity can be mitigated so it doesn’t damage infrastructure or property. Exclusion fencing, pond levelers, tree wrapping, and other methods that are inexpensive and long-term have shown to be effective in making sure people and beavers can live together peacefully.
- You can help beavers across Canada. Our beaver co-existing campaign is growing and changing, and we’re expecting new opportunities for training, education and solutions soon. You can be a part of that change by becoming a monthly donor to The Fur-Bearers! Just visit TheFurBearers.com/monthly to get started.
Beavers are pretty amazing – and we’re glad you’re celebrating them with us today!
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