Seven tweetable facts about beavers

Beaver (Photo by Makedocreative/Wikimedia Commons)

Beaver (Photo by Makedocreative/Wikimedia Commons)

April 7, 2017 | by Adam Hunter

First launched in 2009 by a non-profit organization called Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife (BWW), International Beaver Day celebrates the rodent’s environmental contributions and its important role in landscapes.

The dams that beavers build can in turn create and restore wetlands, which protect and filter our drinking water, provide wildlife habitats, store flood waters to reduce property damage and maintain surface water flow during droughts. Beavers were once endangered throughout much of their range, but have made a remarkable comeback over the last century. In Canada, they can even be found in rivers and creeks within many major cities.

A beaver carries a willow branch across the water. (Photo by Steve Hillebrand, courtesy of USFWS)

A beaver carries a willow branch across the water. (Photo by Steve Hillebrand, courtesy of USFWS)

BWW declared April 7 International Beaver Day to honour Dorothy Richards, also known as the “Beaver Woman,” whose birthday fell on the same day. Before her death in 1985, Richards studied beavers for 50 years, had two consecutive beaver families living in an addition to her house and wrote a book called Beaversprite: My Years Building an Animal Sanctuary.

To celebrate International Beaver Day, here are seven tweetable facts about these iconic and industrious rodents:

1.    Beavers can stay underwater for 15 minutes without coming up for air. (Tweet this!)

2.    The beaver is Canada’s biggest rodent and the second-largest on the planet. (Tweet this!)

3.    Beavers' transparent eyelids work like goggles, by protecting their eyeballs as they swim underwater. (Tweet this!)

4.    The beaver has been Canada's national symbol for more than 300 years. (Tweet this!)

5.    Beavers' ear openings and nostrils have valves that can be closed when underwater. (Tweet this!)

6.    The world’s largest beaver dam is 850 metres long and located in Wood Buffalo National Park. (Tweet this!)

7.    Beavers sharpen their incisors (teeth) by grinding them against one another. (Tweet this!)

About the Author

Adam Hunter Adam became part of the Nature Conservancy of Canada team in October 2016.

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