Beaver Basics

Beaver Benefits 

Information provided by the Beaver Institute

Frequently Asked Questions

Do beavers live in their dams?

No, beavers live in lodges or dens. Dams are built by beavers to slow water and create ponds.

What are lodges? How do I spot one?

Beavers construct lodges out of branches and can look similar to their dam. The lodge serves as a den for their kits, a place to sleep, and a safe place to eat.

Do beavers eat fish?

No, beavers are vegetarians. They eat herbaceous plants such as cattails, water lilies, or other aquatic vegetation, and the leaves and inner bark of woody plants. 

What is the familial structure?

Beavers mate for life. They are mammals and produce 1-6 offspring, or kits, every spring. Once the kits are old enough, usually 2 years old, they will venture off on their own.

Are beavers nocturnal?

Yes, beavers are typically active at night.

Do beavers hibernate?

No, they are very active in the wintertime. They need a pond that is deep enough to swim under the ice to access their lodge.

Can beavers live on a prairie?

Yes, beavers can construct their dams and lodges using thin willow stems and marsh plants. (See our Nachusa Grasslands Project).



Intro to beaver


Overview of beaver LINK

Beaver benefits overview LINK

"Linking time budgets to habitat quality suggests that beavers are energy maximizers" LINK

"Foraging decisions of North American beaver are shaped by energy constraints and predation risk" LINK

"Beaver Made: the botany of a keystone species" LINK


Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why the Matter By Ben Goldfarb. Buy book HERE

Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver  by Frances Backhouse Buy book HERE

Bringing Back the Beaver by Derek Gow Buy the book here

Beavers by the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska FREE PDF

Nature's Architect: The beaver's return to our wild landscapes by Jim Crumley 

Saving the Dammed: Why we need beaver-modified ecosystems by Ellen Wohl

Dam Builders: The natural history of beavers and their ponds by Michael Runtz

The American Beaver by Lewis H. Morgan

The Beaver: Its life and impact by 

The Beaver by Edward Royal Warren

The Beaver Manifesto by Glynnis Hood