Beavers are considered the largest rodent in the United States, and they are commonly found in Arlington. They reside in areas such as Lake Arlington and other local water sources including our city's rivers, creeks and ponds. Although they are labeled as a rodent, their presence is beneficial to our overall ecosystem. Their activities help create new living environments for insects, fish, birds, and other mammals. Removing a beaver from its environment is rarely a viable solution, because of creating a vacuum effect, causing other beavers to populate the area.

In the springtime, beaver activity increases as these vegetarians forage for food consisting of deciduous trees such as cottonwood, oak, elm and other rapidly growing trees. Their large, sharp teeth are also used as tools to acquire tree parts to construct their living quarters called a den or lodge. Southern beavers frequently burrow into creek banks when building their dens. Benefits from their activities include reduced flooding, erosion, and a beaver dam can uniquely serve as a filtration system for water resources. The beneficial effects of their tree pruning is that it can stimulate tree growth.

Most beavers mate for life, and live in a family colony consisting of two adults with their newest kits (usually a litter of three to four) typically born in May or June, along with kits born the previous year. After about two years, the young offspring are usually committed to being on their own. At birth, a kit is born with fur and it quickly learns to swim. Their webbed hind feet help them become excellent swimmers. Their flat tail serves multiple purposes - for storing fat in the winter months and also used as a warning device when slapped to the ground to sound as an alarm. Beavers grow to about three or four feet in length and can weigh between 35 and 75 pounds. Although beavers are mostly nocturnal they are sometimes seen shortly before nightfall. The reproduction of beavers is directly impacted by the size and quality of their habitat.

Reference source: 911 Wildlife

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More about Beavers

  • 911 Wildlife website reference - Beaver
  • Texas Parks & Wildlife - Beavers
  • The Humane Society of the United States - Beavers

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