Watershed Animal Spotlight – The American Beaver

Posted on: May 18th, 2020 by Irene Foster
North American Beaver (Castor canadensis)

North American Beaver (Castor canadensis)


Have you ever looked at a stick and thought it looked super tasty? No? Well if you were a beaver you would eat tree bark and leaves, as well as aquatic vegetation. Recently, Matt Savatgy, our Watershed Youth Educator, and I took a field trip to the Little Beaver Kill in Mount Tremper.  We kayaked up the Little Beaver Kill (making sure we were socially distant) looking for evidence of beavers for our new video series the Watershed Animal Spotlight. The star of our first episode is the American Beaver.

The Little Beaver Kill has a thriving beaver population, and we were able to see many examples of beaver activity along the stream.  There was an assortment of dams, lodges, and canals that showed how busy the beavers have been. Beavers can build all of these because they are perfectly adapted for life in the water. Some of their aquatic adaptations include waterproof fur, transparent eyelids that allow them to see underwater, and webbing between the toes of their back feet that helps them to swim more efficiently.

Be on the lookout for large piles of sticks in ponds and streams, it just might be a beaver lodge. If you want to learn more about beavers, check out our new video by visiting the AWSMP YouTube Channel or using the following link: https://youtu.be/38DsNHU-4yA



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