Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

November 13, 2015

Another pesky critter removed from our farm

Filed under: farm — Freddie Keel @ 10:50 am
Tags: , , , , ,

garrett-beaver-110715

It is a growing problem across East Texas.      The beaver is North America’s largest rodent. The animals are resourceful. Only humans can match their aptitude in changing their environment to meet their needs. Since beavers are so dependent on the water, much of their life is spent ensuring they have a steady supply.

Going back in time a million years or so, the beaver is the descendant of an 800-pound prehistoric rodent. Adult beavers, which average between 30 and 60 pounds, may seem rather puny by comparison, but they still rank as the second largest rodents in the world, right behind the South American capybara (kap-ah-BARE-ah). A record beaver found in 1921 weighed 110 pounds, and heavyweights that tip the scales between 80 and 100 pounds still are caught occasionally.

Beaver historically have been a valuable economic and natural resource.  During the past 20 years their populations have increased throughout the United States due to lower demand for beaver products and subsequent decreases in recreational trapping.  This growth has positive impacts, such as increased wetland habitat, as well as negative effects from dam building and tree cutting.  Beaver dams back up water that floods and kills valuable timber and destroys or damages cropland, roadways, sewer and septic systems, and water treatment and electric utilities.

Dams may also negatively affect fish populations by changing the movement and temperature of stream water.  Beavers cut down trees that are valued for timber production and landscaping.  Texas Wildlife Services conducts beaver damage management to protect flood control structures, roads and bridges, and private property. Beavers concentrate around road culverts and bridges and their bank dens can cause the complete failure of flood control dams. Beaver damage management is an important activity, especially in the eastern third of Texas.

They have decided to use our young pine plantations as a source of dam building supplies.  They have also cut down many desirable hardwoods along the creek that runs through our farm.  Thanks to a grandson, there is one less beaver on our farm.  Now he has a nice beaver pelt.

 

 

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