The James River Park System - Richmond, VA

Science in the Park

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American Beaver
Castor canadensis
Family: Castoridae

Herbivore / Prey
Native to Virginia

American Beaver Factsheet

American Beaver

American Beaver Factsheet

The American beaver is an intelligent animal, fairly common within the James River Park System. It is perhaps best known for constructing dams using tree branches and mud.

Recorded activity in the James River Park

Evidence of beaver activity -- gnaw marks and the spikes of chewed off tree trunks -- are often found along the river banks within the James River Park. But this is an animal seldom seen, especially considering it’s rather large size.

Our first video documentation of Castor Canadensis was on August 15, 2014 -- first, hopping up a bank, then, sliding back into the water three minutes later. This particular bank is located on a small island in the braided channels near Reedy Creek, and is heavily traveled by a variety of animals. Raccoon, muskrat, river otter, deer, heron, Canada geese, chipmunk, groundhog, and Red fox were all caught on video at this site. Wildlife corridor? Absolutely!

One-eyed beaver from Science in the Park on Vimeo.

See more videos: Videos LOC 2_4 and LOC 2_5 are the best to watch the beaver casually munching on herbaceous vegetation, not the sapling trunks it usually prefers. Perhaps it is putting on some poundage for the upcoming fall and winter months ... or, just hungry for salad. See all beaver videos »