Contributing Monkie G Monkie
Published on April 20, 2007
This is the story of Nature’s Extreme Machine. We study the beavior of the Beaver from Argentina to Alberta and reveal insights into the role Beavers in the natural world.
Beavers are semi-aquatic rodents native to North America and Europe. They are the only living members of the family Castoridae, which contains a single genus, Castor.
Genetic research has shown the European and North American beaver populations to be distinct species and that hybridization is unlikely.
Beaver pelts were used for barter by Native Americans in the 17th century to gain European goods. They were then shipped back to Great Britain and France where they were made into clothing items. Widespread hunting and trapping of beavers led to their endangerment. Eventually, the fur trade fell apart due to declining demand in Europe and the takeover of trapping grounds to support the growing agriculture sector. A small resurgence in beaver trapping has occurred in some areas where there is an over-population of beaver; trapping is only done when the fur is of value, and normally the remainder of the animal is also utilized as animal feed.