Great places to see beavers include the Icefields Parkway, Pyramid
Lake, Horshoe Lakes near Jasper and Vermilion Lake near Banff.
Beavers live near water, rivers, streams, ponds, sloughs, ravines
where there are plenty of shrubs, trees, and bushes to provide
food and building materials. They move around mostly at night.
They don't eat wood, they eat the bark from the branches and
use the remainder for construction. Beavers can fell trees up
to four feet in diameter.
A web footed mammal
It is estimated North America once
had over 60 million beavers
"Carpenter", "Lumberjack" and "Engineer"
all rolled into one. Beavers are fascinating mammals for a number
of reasons. Their teeth never stop growing, necessary because
they are continuously gnawing trees. They are one of a very
few animals on earth that modifies its habitat for its own personal
use. They can fell 200 or more trees in a year and can drastically
change the landscape around them. It is a very strong animal
and can haul a tree, with its teeth, that is many times its
own weight. I'd like to see a human do that!
dams they create actually help nature in many ways, creating
living habitats for a wide range of wildlife. Waterfowl,
amphibians, insects, fish, mink, muskrats and larger animals
thirsty for drinking water are all benefactors of the
Beavers average 3 to 4 feet in length, have dark brown oily
coats and, of course, the tell-tall flat paddle like tail. They
weigh up to 70 pounds.
water creates special challenges and the beaver has adapted
with valves that allow them to close their ears and nostrils
when submerged. Clear membranes slide over their eyes and
they can chew wood underwater without water entering their
mouths. They are active under the ice during the winter.
They have an efficient layer of fat to insulate themselves
and are adept tunnelers. They are among natures' most unique
creatures and were driven to the brink of extinction by
early trappers seeking thier pelts to sell to Europeans.