Did you know that today is International Beaver Day? This day celebrates the wonderful creatures that inhabit the wetlands and rivers of the world. Besides eating and gnawing trees, beavers are also known for creating dams that help prevent droughts and restore wetlands. Sadly, the beaver population has been declining over the past few decades, so the holiday aims to raise awareness about beavers and their important role in ecosystems.
Beavers are slow on land but good swimmers
The slow speed of a beaver is actually a plus point! These mammals are known for their strong sense of smell and warning tails. They communicate by using their tails as a warning device and may not come up for a long time if they are disturbed. They have a high mass to surface ratio and use musky scent glands to communicate with others. Beavers are slow on land but very fast swimmers!
They mate for life
Beavers mate for life and stay together for their entire lives. A female beaver has a gestation period of about 3 1/2 months before she gives birth to her first litter. The kits are born at the end of the gestation period and stay with their mothers until they are about two years old. The young help out their parents in many ways, including food gathering, dam construction, and taking care of their siblings. Beaver families live together in large colonies. Beavers live in lodges constructed of sticks and branches. They build their homes in the middle of a pond or on the bank. Beavers have underwater entrances and access them during the day, and they mate for life.
They build dams
Among the most iconic symbols of Canada, the beaver is the country’s national animal. This rodent is known for its dam-building abilities and is under threat from habitat destruction and human encroachment. While the animal is not directly responsible for the destruction of the environment, dam-building is a vital task that helps the species to restore wetlands. Beavers build dams to help preserve the ecosystem’s wetlands and provide essential services. They also build and maintain dams to regulate climate and prevent surges.
They eat sedges, pondweed, and water lilies
On International Beaver Day, take a minute to learn about the diet of beavers. Beavers eat plants from the water’s edge, such as pondweed and water lilies. Beavers also eat bark from many trees and shrubs. During the warmer months, they focus on eating sedges, pondweed, and water lilies.
They are herbivores
International Beaver Day is about herbivore habitats! Beavers, or beavers as they are also known, are a keystone species that engineer their environment. The wetlands they create are home to more than a thousand species of organisms. These hardy animals have an excellent reputation as stewards of their environments. Beavers, which belong to the genus Castor, have stout bodies and large heads. They are herbivores, which means they eat woody vegetation like trees, grasses, aquatic plants, sedges, and tree bark.
They restore wetlands
On International Beaver Day, beavers are celebrated for their vital role in ecosystems. They serve as natural engineers, restoring wetlands, helping waterfowl, and more. In fact, some call beavers “flat-tailed heroes” because of their contributions to the ecosystem. In addition, beavers are a keystone species in Colorado, where they are a vital part of the South Platte River community.