Beaver (Castor canadensis)

General Information

Beaver: North Carolina Wildlife Profiles
Perhaps it is the beaver’s ability to alter its environment and construct a home—a behavior similar to our own, that makes the animal so interesting to us.

N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission: Beaver Overview
The beaver is the largest rodent in North America, weighing between 35 and 50 pounds as adults. However, beavers weighing up to 90 lbs. have been reported. Beavers are 2-3 feet in length, with an additional 10-18 inches for the tail.

Mammals of North Carolina: Their Distribution and Abundance (Beaver)
Beavers occur over nearly all of North America, with one of the widest distributions of any of our mammals.

American Beaver (National Wildlife Federation)
Beavers are one of the few animals that can actively change an ecosystem by blocking rivers and streams with trees and mud, creating new lakes, ponds and floodplains.

Beavers to the Rescue: Beavers Play a Role in Maintaining Wetlands, Helping Birds and Other Wildlife
Beaver dam-building leads to a cascade of effects that increase stream complexity, benefiting a wide variety of species.

American Beaver (Tennessee Wildlife Resources)
These highly aquatic mammals live in streams, rivers, wetlands, ponds and small lakes.

Beaver (National Zoo, Smithsonian Institute)
Beavers are one of the few species that significantly modify their environment. By building watertight dams, which reduce stream erosion and form slow-moving ponds, they provide aquatic habitat for dozens of other species.

Hunting and Trapping

Best Management Practices for Trapping Beaver in the United States
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are carefully researched educational guides designed to address animal welfare and increase trappers’ efficiency and selectivity.

Beaver Hunting Regulations (North Carolina)

Beaver Trapping Regulations (North Carolina)

Management and Resolving Problems

Beaver Management Assistance Program
The BMAP helps manage ever-increasing problems caused by beaver on private and public lands.

Tree Girdling
Beavers and muskrats frequently cut ornamentals and fruit trees near water.

Damage to Small Ponds
Beavers can be discouraged from using small farm ponds by eliminating trees near the bank or on the dam.

Flooding
Beaver-created ponds and wetlands store water; many landowners find this beneficial during periods of during extended periods of dry weather and drought conditions.

Beaver Pond Management
Water level control is often the best technique for beaver pond management when the removal of the beavers is not desired or practical.

Waterfowl Management in Beaver Ponds
Beaver ponds are naturally beneficial waterfowl habitat, but in some cases they may be improved by management.

Videos

How Beavers Build Dams (PBS)

Beavers Are Geniuses (National Geographic)

How do Beavers Build a Dam? (BBC)

All About Beavers for Children