Beavers are large, paddle tailed rodents who are semi-aquatic. There are two distinct species of beaver; the North American beaver and the Eurasian beaver. Beavers are the second largest species of rodent in the world and are well known for their dam building abilities and ability to fell large trees using their teeth. Beavers are herbivores and usually create dams close to food sources. They are able to stay submerged underwater for a maximum of 15 minutes. So where do these amazing creatures live? Read on to find out.
Where do beavers come from?
The two species of beaver, the North American beaver and the Eurasian beaver inhabit different parts of the globe. The North American beaver can be found in Canada (where it is also known as the Canadian beaver), the United States and in parts of Northern Mexico. It was also introduced into Finland, France, Poland and Russia as well as the Tierra del Fuego; an archipelago off the southernmost tip of the South America.
The Eurasian beaver is not as numerous as the North American beaver due to it being almost hunted to extinction. There are small colonies that have been re-introduced to Europe. A small number of Eurasian beavers live in parts of Scandinavia, The Elbe River (which runs through the Czech Republic and Germany) and the Rhone River (Which begins in Switzerland and runs through France). A large community of these beavers live in Poland and on the Morava River in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The Eurasian beaver can also be found in Scotland, Bavaria, Austria, Netherlands, Serbia, Denmark and Bulgaria. This species of beaver may also be re-introduced back into Wales and England in the near future.
The natural habitat of both species of beaver is the riparian zone, which is the area where a river or stream meets the land. They also inhabit stream beds. Beavers create dams in rivers and streams which provide them with still, safe water in which to build a lodge. A beaver family will live inside a lodge in the center of the still pool of water. Lodges are made from branches and mud and are hard enough that not even wolves can penetrate them, making it a safe home for the beaver. This lodge is only used during the fall and winter months. During spring and summer the beaver will usually rove around wooded areas near stream and rivers. When fall starts again the beaver will return to their old lodge and dams and begin repair work for winter.