American Beaver

Castor canadensis


Conservation Status

  • Beaver’s eyes are protected by a goggle-like membrane that allows them to see underwater. Ear and eye valves shut when underwater, and their lips can be shut behind their front teeth, allowing them to gnaw wood while submerged. 
  • The market for fur hats almost left American Beavers extinct. Fashions changed and protections were enacted that enabled the species to recover somewhat. Today’s beaver populations are 5-10% what they once were. 
  • Beavers strengthen ecosystems, creating wetland habitat that improves the diversity of invertebrates, insects, mammals, fish, plants where they live. 
  • Giant Ice Age beavers went extinct in North America 10,000 years ago. These animals were 8ft tall and weighed 200 pounds.

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