Loop 2: Station 7
Beavers: Furry engineers
The beaver is North America’s largest rodent. Beaver can grow to a length of approximately four feet, including their broad flat tails, and can weigh 60 pounds.
Their numerous mud, stick, and log dams throughout the park have inundated most of the West Bay of the former lakebed, and the Marrow Bone Creek valley, creating large wetlands. Beavers may construct dens in river banks or they may build lodges of wood and mud. In both, the entrances are generally under water to provide protection from predators.
Some beaver dams in the park are hundreds of feet long and raise the pond level behind the dam as much as four feet. The ponds created by the dams provide beavers with access to their basic habitat needs: food, water, shelter and space.
Photo © Adam Welz www.adamwelz.net
Have beavers always been here in great numbers?
By the early 1900s, beavers in this region had been nearly wiped out by hunting and trapping. Their populations have rebounded and they now exist in all 46 counties of South Carolina.
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