Beavers are a keystone
species. This means their presence in nature greatly affects
other wildlife. In fact, the removal of beavers from their
natural setting leads to a decrease in habitat quality. As
a result, fewer wildlife species are able to utilize the area.
- Beavers build dams and create wetlands
upon which many species depend. In fact, almost half of all
endangered and threatened species in North America rely on
wetlands to survive, and eighty five percent of all North
American wild animal species depend on wetlands.
- Beavers help purify and control water
by filtering silt from the water bodies in which they live.
This increases water purity and decreases the need for filtration
systems. Beaver dams can also slow flood waters. Higher water
tables, less erosion, and cleaner water result from beaver
dams. Beavers may also aid in containing forest fires; by
converting streams to larger bodies of water , these can serve
as both a fire line and water supply to fire fighters.
- Beavers can serve as "ecological
indicators." Their presence in an area lets us know the
ecosystem is healthy.