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About Beavers

Beaver photo
  • Beavers are a keystone species and their wetlands habitats allow other animals, fish, birds, and amphibians to flourish. More wetlands in the State of Illinois--which beavers actually engineer--would help improve water quality; and prevent contamination of our rivers from agricultural runoff; raise the levels of our water tables; and create floodwater storage capacity.

  • Because wetlands absorb and sequester carbon from the atmosphere through plant photosynthesis, they keep the carbon from warming the climate and help address climate change.

  • While beavers do bring the risk of tree damage or flooding, modern tools for beaver management such as the installation of flow devices or tree wrapping allow for the protection of public safety, infrastructure, and landscaping. 

  • Beavers offer educational opportunities by engaging the public with the natural environment. Beavers provide first-hand lessons about habitat, biodiversity, and territory. Children can see with their own eyes how the population of birds, frogs, turtles, and other wildlife respond to construction of a beaver dam.

  • Even in an urban setting, beavers provide ecological benefits. Beaver dams in urban settings can provide benefits similar to those in rural areas, including storing surface and groundwater, regulating flow, improving stream complexity, storing sediment, and increasing biodiversity, while also restoring stream resilience.

  • Only a couple of hundred years ago, as many as 400 million beavers populated this country. Native American Indians referred to them as "little Indians," spiritual creatures to be treated with reverence and respect. Then came the trappers, who called the beaver “living gold” and trapped them to the brink of extinction for their luxurious pelts. Coming back from the brink of extinction, they are a Darwinian success story.

  • Once a habitat is attractive to beavers, it will likely remain attractive to beavers. If you trap and kill one family of beavers, a new family will move in, and they’ll cut down new trees if they aren’t properly protected or build dams that cause floods. And then these beavers’ deaths will have been for nothing. Wouldn’t it just be better to put remediation efforts into place and learn to live with the beavers?

Find Out More About Beavers
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