Beavers are sizable rodents who are part of the genus Castor. These toothy mammals spend significant portions of their lives in the water, and they usually live around bodies of freshwater. The two remaining species are the North American beaver (Castor canadensis) along with the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber).
North American Beaver Geography
The North American beaver is relatively abundant on the North American continent. Florida's peninsular region, Mexico, the Southwestern deserts and northernmost Canada do not have beavers. As a result of introduction, North American beavers also live in Asian Russia, Finland and Argentina.
North American Beaver Habitat
These elusive, herbivorous and web-footed animals generally live right next to smaller lakes, marshes, ponds, streams and rivers. Some live in ditch environments. If a place has plentiful water throughout the year, a beaver can usually live there very successfully. Within their habitats, North American beavers also famously construct dams, which establish ponds and alter streams' directions. Dams give beavers some control over their locations. Apart from their dams, beavers often build lodges out of mud, segments of plants, rocks and sticks. These lodges provide above-water living quarters, but their entrances are underwater. Some beavers also set up simple burrows by lakes and rivers.
Eurasian Beaver Geography
The Eurasian beaver is a close relative of the North American beaver. These predominantly nocturnal rodents are found in central Asia, parts of Nordic Europe, and Western, central and Eastern Europe. These habitats include Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, France, Finland, Poland and Germany.
Eurasian Beaver Habitat
Eurasian beavers often live in freshwater rivers or lakes close to ample trees. They also often live in swamps and marshes. Reliable and consistent nearby sources of water are an absolute must for Eurasian beavers. These beavers typically gravitate toward water that's calm and relatively slow-flowing. They occasionally take up residence in cities, suburbs or farms. The lodges that Eurasian beavers make are generally a little smaller than those of North American beavers.
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Castor Fiber
- Large Herbivore Network: Eurasian Beaver
- USDA Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service: Beaver
- Natural Science Research Laboratory: American Beaver
- WAZA: Eurasian Beaver
- borealforest.com: Eurasian Beaver
- Oregon Wild: Beaver
- Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management: Beavers
- Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife: Beavers
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