North American beavers Maple and Filbert live at the Oregon Zoo. Over the last year, their dam-building skills have not only improved the zoo’s Cascade Stream and Pond habitat, but the busy beavers have also become popular for their collabs on the zoo’s YouTube channel. From their site:
The two beavers share a lodge, and spend their days chewing on wood to keep their large, powerful teeth worn down. To encourage these natural behaviors, keepers anchor branches to the beach or clamp the branches upright for them to chew.
Maple and Filbert became friends and co-workers soon after Maple arrived in March 2020. Filbert was born in the Oregon Zoo in 2011.
Here’s a longer dam-building video that showcases their ecosystem engineering skills. The wordless delight was filmed with lots of burbling water sounds in June of 2020:
More about local beaver conservation from the zoo’s site:
Though Oregon is known for its beaver population, that hasn’t always been the case. In the 19th century, American beavers were hunted and trapped for their fur; by about 1900, they were almost gone from many of their original habitats. Pollution and habitat loss also affected their survival. In the last 100 years, thanks to re-establishment programs and hunting regulations, beavers have made a very successful comeback. They are now listed as a species of least concern by the International Union of Conservation of Nature.
Metro, the regional government that manages the Oregon Zoo, has preserved and restored more than 90 miles of river and stream banks in the region through its voter-supported natural area programs. By protecting water quality and habitat, these programs are helping to provide the healthy ecosystems needed for beavers, fish and other wildlife to thrive. Beavers are frequently observed in Metro region waterways.
Watch these videos about beavers on TKSST:
• Ecosystem Engineers: How do beavers build dams?
• Beavers: The Smartest Thing in Fur Pants
• Beaver dams and wildfire, a stop-motion demonstration
• How do living things change their environments?
• What happens when beavers are reintroduced to England?
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