Beavers of Denali National Park

American Beavers

American Beavers are one of the many animals you can find at Denali National Park.  You can learn more about the various animals of Denali National Park from our Animals Page.

Their Appearance

The American Beaver is North America's largest rodent and the second largest rodent in the world. They usually grow to a length of approximately 2 to 3 feet long and a weight of 45 and 60 pounds.  The fur of a beaver comes in a variety of colors.  These range from a yellowish brown to a near black.  However, their most common fur color is brownish red.  They have a flat, round, and scaly tail which has become part of the beavers trademark look.

Where to Find Them

Beavers prefer to stay in areas where there is a slow flow of moving water.  This slow flow of water aids them in the creation of their dams.  They also prefer to stay near a good source of wood.  Deciduous trees, such as the willow, birch, and cottonwood trees of Denali National Park, are a favorite.  Beavers are active mainly at night.

An Interesting Fact from Skinny's

During the nineteenth century, the american beaver was brought to the brink of extinction.  This was due to the beaver fur trade.  Europeans provided quite a good price for american beaver pelts and we nearly eradicated the species to fetch these prices.

Many of these pelts were used in Europe for making top hats.  As part of the process to create these hats, mercury would be used.  These hatters obviously didn't know mercury had some poisonous attributes to it.  After a few years of continued exposure, these hatters would begin losing their sanity do to these poisonous attributes.  The hatters would literally become mad lunatics; hence the name, "mad hatter".

It seems the beaver got us back for nearly destroying them after all...

Beaver video

Below is a video of a beaver so you can have a better understanding of how they look.

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