The American Beaver

How much do you really know about the American Beaver? Did you know that beavers are actually a rodents? It's North America's largest rodent, some weighing up to 75-100 pounds. The beaver was very important to North Carolina's economy well into the early 1800s. It's fur was very valuable and a main item of trade between the original colonies. Due to the fact of their valuable fur, by the early to mid 1800s they became close to extinction. They actually became extinct in North Carolina, the last known beaver taken from the wild was in 1897. By the 1930s and 1940s several states began to restock them. By the 1960s there were over a 1,000 beaver in the wild places of North Carolina.

Beavers are very important and are a keystone species. Which means, they create habitats that directly affect other species. By them creating a dam and the water level rises, which helps prevent erosion, create habitats for numerous other species like, wading birds, waterfowl, fish, reptiles & amphibians. So without beavers other species wouldn't survive.

 This beaver was cleaning its fur in the edge of a canal.

This beaver was cleaning its fur in the edge of a canal.

 They feed on the inner bark of a wide variety of trees & shrubs.

They feed on the inner bark of a wide variety of trees & shrubs.

This past 4th of July I was photographing at my favorite location, Pungo, when I discovered a beaver dam.  After getting close I noticed two beavers doing something I'd never seen before. I not 100 percent but I'm pretty positive it was some sort of territorial dispute. They fought above & below the water, biting each other in the neck and constantly pushing one another. I photographed them for a few minutes before they took it deeper in the flooded woods.