Thursday, July 2, 2020

How Beavers Build Dams

How beavers build dams is pretty interesting. You can sure leave it to beavers. The story of beavers in North America is interesting. See their history, their near extinction, and their current comeback as modern day so-called eco-heroes.

There are various reasons why beavers build dams. Beavers, of course, are compelled to build dams. Much research has revealed that beavers build dams near the sound of rushing water. Of course, they build dams to provide habitat and protection for their young. It may be surprising to some, but not all beavers build dams. They really need an area to build their lodge, like a riverbank. They need food and access to mates. Water allows them to escape from predators.

Amazingly, it takes a beaver about 20 minutes to cut down a 15 cm wide aspen, by gnawing a groove around the trunk in an hourglass shape. A beaver's jaws are so strong and powerful they can cut a 1.5 cm sapling in one bite.

Beavers are pretty intelligent. They are nicknamed, "Nature's engineers." Beavers are responsible for changing the landscape of wherever they live. Beavers had more safety back in the days before they were exterminated for their fur by humans.

Beavers can actually help reduce the risk of dangerous flooding lower down in river systems by building dams and moderating water flow. The modifications made to the streams can raise the water table locally, creating important wetland areas to the benefit of biodiversity.

The pursuit of beaver pelts from the Maritimes to the Mackenzie Valley led to the important exploration of vast regions of North America. When the fur trade first initially started, it is estimated that there were six million beavers living in the area of what is now Canada.

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