Beaver Signs - Enlarge
Mass: 13 - 27 kg
Length: to 4 ft. (1.2 m)
Biomes: temperate forest & rainforest, freshwater lake, freshwater rivers
Status: no special status.
Range: Beavers are found throughout North America except for the Southwest, and Mexico. Beavers live in streams, rivers, and lakes where trees are abundant.
(Hall and Kelson, 1959; Frazier, 1996; Sevilleta LTER, 1995; http://web.idirect.com/~hland/sh/an020.htm)
Beavers are primarily aquatic animals. They have waterproof, rich, glossy, brown fur, and large, black, webbed feet. Their powerful hind legs also increase their swimming ability. Beavers have the ability to close their noses and ears while swimmimg underwater, and they have a clear eyelid to protect their eyes from the water and debris.
The tails are one of the defining characteristics of beavers. They are broad and flat with large, blackish scales.
Another characteristic of beavers is their teeth. Like all rodents, beavers have large central incisors (front teeth) that are always growing. They must keep them trimmed by gnawing bark.
(Hall and Kelson, 1959; Frazier, 1996; Sevilleta LTER, 1995)
The conservation status differs with respect to source, but there have been significant threats to the survival of the beaver. Beavers have been hunted and trapped extensively in the past and by about 1900, the animals were almost gone in many of their original habitats. Pollution and habitat loss have also effected the survival of the beaver. In the last century, however, beavers have been successfully reintroduced to many of their former habitats.
(Frazier, 1996; Sevilleta LTER, 1995)
Hind print is about 6 in. (15 cm.) long; There is also webbing between toes that is sometimes visible in the beaver's tracks.