Monday, April 14, 2008

Beaver Trouble

Anybody with some water nearby would consider beavers an invasion to their habitat, but they are part of the "system" so to speak. Here's an account from Hilton Pond in the piedmont area of South Carolina that noticed evidence of beaver and how they are handling it.

Several years ago -- to be exact, it was 9 March 2005 -- we were taking one of our usual evening strolls around Hilton Pond Center, surveying the trees for early spring migrant birds and noting what wildflowers were coming into bloom. We eventually got to a spot on the pond edge ... We expected to observe whirligig beetles on the water surface but instead saw something that stopped us dead in our tracks: Two long, thin, pale-colored sticks forming a "T" in the shallows

Although we'd never seen this phenomenon on our property, we knew immediately from the exposed end of the closest stick ... that what we were looking at was our first local encounter with an animal with ability to do some real damage to our little 11-acre nature sanctuary, an animal with incredibly sharp incisors and a penchant for using them, an animal that could gnaw down woody vegetation overnight and decimate trees around Hilton Pond.

We speak here, of course, of a semi-aquatic mammal that has been making a comeback in surprising places -- none other than nature's energetic engineer, Castor canadensis, the American Beaver.

Read the entire article.

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