|In ideal habitat, the animals may construct as many as 25 dams along one mile of river.||Beavers and humans are two of the only mammals capable of dramatically changing forest habitats. Humans, of course, do this to a far greater extent, and are far more destructive. Beavers, on the other hand, can improve the habitat for both themselves and other animals. Inhabiting forest streams and rivers (called "riparian zones"), the beavers are not as conspicuous as the structures they build.|
A lodge at low-water. Photo by Maya Walters.
|It is generally well known that beavers use their powerful, sharp teeth to cut down small trees along river banks. They use these trees to build dams across rivers, which have an enormous impact on water flow. The water is slowed, and pools are formed behind the dams which collect huge amounts of nutrient-rich sediment. These wetlands reduce flooding, and by holding reservoirs of water part way along the stream, they prolong strong water flow into the late summer and fall.|
[riparian zones] [water]
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