Mammals of Pennsylvania Online Resource

Common Name: Beaver


Scientific Name:
Castor Canadensis 

Semiaquatic—wooded streams and lake shores.

Herbivorous (especially) bark and small twigs.

Interesting Facts:
The beaver is a large rodent adapted for aquatic life. Although awkward on land, it is capable of felling trees eight feet in diameter for construction of its lodge. Details of its engineering prowess make fascinating reading. So, too, is its remarkable recovery in Pennsylvania. The beaver was trapped for its luxuriant fur by early settlers and disappeared fromPennsylvania by the mid-1800s. In the summer of 1917, a pair of beaver from Wisconsin was released in Cameron County. Within five years, the beaver populations of Cameron County and southern McKean County were well established from that original pair. That groupand subsequent releases from Canada and New York in 1919, 1920, 1922, and 1924 form the nucleus of the current inhabitants in the Commonwealth.

Further Reading:
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