Beaver (Castor canadensis)
The beaver is a nocturnal, semiaquatic rodent. Beavers are herbivores with a diet consisting of wood from aspen, poplar, birch, alder, maple and cherry trees to name a few. They are natural dam builders on rivers and streams building their lodges once they have constructed a dam. Beavers have poor eyesight but excellent hearing and sense of smell. Beavers can weigh up to 55 pounds and can live into their 20’s. They are extremely good swimmers with webbed back feet.
Beavers mate for life and both raise the young. Beaver breed once a year with one to four kits staying with the breeding pair for two years. A yearling will help their family raise the kits and within two years will settle in their own area close to the original pair. Beavers use scent glands to mark their territory.
Beaver may have a parasite called giardia lamblia found in the small intestines of many mammals. Giardiasis as defined is a common intestinal parasite which can be contracted through drinking water from unfiltered streams or lakes and causes watery diarrhea, lasting a week or more.