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The Importance of Beavers

beaver
  • 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.

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