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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Beaver

I just saw a beaver cross the street about 100 feet down from my house! This is so strange. We are in the city here. This is not the country. I have never seen a beaver in the city.

There is a nearby park/golf course with a pond (open drainage ditch). And, there's a developing commercial park with three retaining ponds (open drainage ditches). All of these ponds stock fish. Do beavers even eat fish? I'm just trying to think of what would draw beaver to this area.

Of course, there are lots of trees around here. Which is worrisome. Is the beaver going to be cutting down trees and, what, damming the street.

I just found an interesting article from May of 2002 about the study of beaver dispersal in Southern Illinois: Growing beaver population creating new problems. Towards the end of the article we learn:

By 1930, only 100 beaver were left in Illinois. Now, they're in "every nook and cranny in the state," says [Lance B.] McNew.

Yeah, really. And:

"They're the only species besides humans who alter the environment to suit their needs. That's why I especially like them," he says, smiling.

That's what I'm worried about. Then this:

"If you just sit and watch one, you'll fall in love with the thing. They never rest. They're always fixing something or storing food. You've just gotta love a hard worker like that," says McNew.

Well, when you put it that way, maybe I could get it to do some yardwork around here.

Read the whole thing for a lot more useful beaver information, including a high resolution photo of a beaver getting tagged, and another one of a beaver lodge.

Posted by Marie at August 19, 2006 11:38 AM