The Beaver

The beaver is a large rodent. It lives on land and in the water and nowadays more live in the Netherlands. Beavers also live in the Molenbeek, they regularly make beautiful dams. The water board will then break it down because otherwise the water cannot flow to the Maas. We would like to tell you more about this nice animal.

What does the beaver look like?
The beaver stands out because of its large front teeth. These front teeth are covered with a hard layer of orange enamel. This ensures that the teeth are very strong. A beaver's front teeth always continue to grow.
The dark brown coat consists of hairs that are so close together that water cannot get onto the skin. This way the beaver stays nice and warm when he swims in the cold stream.
A beaver's tail is thick and flat. The tail is a large paddle that allows the beaver to move easily in the water. The beaver can swim very well because the beaver has webbed feet between its toes. The tail is also used as an alarm. The beaver can slap its tail loudly on the water to warn other beavers of danger.
A beaver's forelimbs are very strong. They can dig well with it and hold food. The beaver is a maximum size of 1.30m. Of this, 30 centimeters is tail. Adult beavers weigh between 20 and 30 kilos. Are you already as big as a beaver?

Where do you find beavers?
Beavers like to live in swamps, along streams, rivers and lakes. The depth of the water must be at least 50 centimeters. This water must not dry up, because then the protection of the castle will be lost.
There must be enough trees, shrubs and herbs on the bank. Examples of trees and shrubs are: willow, poplar, birch and ash. When there are many different types of trees and shrubs in the habitat, this is better for the beaver. Our Equihabitat is therefore a very nice beaver habitat.

A true vegetarian
The beaver is a true vegetarian, so it does not eat other animals, but only plants. The beaver's menu includes leaves, small twigs and bark of trees (willow and poplar are favorites), aquatic plants and rhizomes. In the summer they eat a lot of herbs. Eating aquatic plants is extra good for female beavers that have young. Because the winters in the Netherlands are not very cold, it is not always necessary to stock up for winter.

The beaver's house
The beaver family lives in a castle. This castle is made by the entire beaver family. Together they drag branches, sticks, mud and stones to the site and start building. They do this at night, because they mainly sleep during the day. A beaver lodge can grow up to 2 meters high and 10 meters long.

An army as a resting place
Armies are used as a resting place in the summer. The armies are not as big as a fortress. It is often a hollow on the bank. The inside is covered with wood chips. Burrows are made along the bank under dense bushes and brambles, making them difficult to find.

Beavers build dams
By gnawing down trees and building dams, the beaver influences its environment. But the beaver does leave many traces in nature.
By building dams, beaver ponds are created, in which the beaver can build a castle. A beaver's pond is his fortress and gives him protection. The dam is made stronger with water plants, mud and stones. Trunks and branches are gnawed off for construction. Although we think the dam is very beautiful and give the beaver a nice place, the water board has to dismantle the dam again and again because otherwise the (rain)water from Venray, for example, cannot flow quickly enough via the Molenbeek to the Maas.

The beaver in the Netherlands
The beaver is on the list of endangered mammals. This means he needs to be protected. In 1826 the beaver was extinct in the Netherlands. Fortunately, beavers were released back into nature in 1988. Nowadays, beavers are doing well in the Netherlands and are found throughout the country along major rivers and streams.

Have you already found gnawing marks on trees, the dam, an army or even the castle?

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