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North American Beaver (Castor canadensis)


Emerald Lake is home to North America’s largest rodent and dam engineering mastermind.  Although their exact number on Emerald Lake is unknown, a typical established beaver colony consists of adult parents and two or more generations of offspring.  Offspring are driven away once they reach maturity at 2 to 3 years of age.  An average beaver family has 6 or 7 members. 

A beavers’ diet consists of bark and cabium of trees and shrubs.  Although beavers will eat just about any species, willows, poplar and sweetgum are among their favorites.  Trees as far as 100 feet or more away from the shoreline may be targeted.  They will also eat cattails, lilies and other aquatic plants.   

Waterfront residents would be wise to take measures to safeguard their investment by protecting their treasured landscaping plants from beaver damage.  To discourage chewing, barriers can be erected around the trunks of specimen trees using 3-foot high hardware cloth or heavier galvanized welded wire. 

Beavers are poor climbers, so fencing is a good way of protecting large areas.  Fences should be at least 3 feet high.  Keep in mind that installation of fences must conform with the FRA Architectural Standards and requires pre-approval from the DRB. Please refer to Building Guidelines and Forms for more details.