Beavers are the Architects of building natural Dams

Beavers build dams across streams to create a pond where they can build a beaver lodge to live in. These ponds provide protection from predators like wolves, coyotes, or mountain lions.

A beaver dam is a dam made of logs and mud, built by a beaver. A dam is something that blocks or slows down the flow of water in a river or a stream. A lake or pond is created behind a dam.

Beavers build their dams out of trees and branches that they cut using their strong incisor (front) teeth! They also use grass, rocks, and mud. Beavers build dams so that they have a safe pond where they can build their beaver lodge.

A beaver lodge is built out of twigs, sticks, rocks, and mud, and has an underwater entrance (beavers are very good swimmers!). Inside their lodge, beavers have a safe place to sleep, raise their babies, stay warm in winter, and hide from predators.

Beaver dams don’t just create a place for beavers to live! The ponds that beaver dams create are important habitats for other wetland animals, including birds and fish. These ponds also help control soil erosion and reduce flooding.

Beavers are a keystone species. This means that they are important to an ecosystem because they modify, or change, their environment in a way that helps other animals and plants, too.

A long time ago, in the 1700’s and 1800’s, beaver fur was used to make hats and other fancy clothing worn by people in Europe. Fur trappers in the Northwest trapped beavers so that their furs could be sent from Fort Vancouver to Europe.

Fur trappers in the 1800’s trapped a lot of beavers throughout North America. Today, there are not as many beavers as there were before the 1800’s, but beavers are not an endangered species. There are now about 10 to 15 million North American beavers in the wild.

US National Park Service / Crickey Conservation Society 2023.

2 Comments on “Beavers are the Architects of building natural Dams

  1. The beaver nearly went instinct due to trapping for fur, but the wetlands of the Great Lakes provided the ultimate protected area for them to survive as a part of the natural wildlife.

    Liked by 1 person

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