Beavers are semi- aquatic large rodents. In case you didn't know. They enjoy using their powerful teeth to fell trees and makes dams in order to create ponds that they can then swim around in. They make their homes in stick, mud huts called lodges. Lodges are located usually at the center of the lake and can only be accessed under water. What is cool about all this is that Beavers are actually known as a keystone species. An animal that plays a unique or crucial role in the ecosystem it is a part of. Without that species the ecosystem would fall apart. It is really amazing how everything in an ecosystem works together. In the case of the Beaver, many species use Beaver ponds as their habitat. If the Beaver were to disappear, so would these species. Beavers have a huge role in biodiversity. Beavers even have some direct benefits to humans. They decrease the amount of damaging floods, remove pollutants from surface and ground water, decreasing erosion, and much more! A new way Beaver's help the environment has also just been discovered. They help create nitrogen sinks to rid waters of excess nitrogen. Nitrogen often finds its way to water through run offs. This increase can cause a huge bloom of algae. When algae dies and starts to decompose oxygen is consumed. This creates dead areas in the water for fish. However, in beaver made ponds there is bacteria present that eats nitrogen and prevents the problem. Just another way the Beaver is saving the day for its ecosystem across North America!
Posted by Nick Michienzi