Believing in Beavers - Ecosystem Engineers

Sarah Kern | March 7, 2024
Kids look at beaver pelts during a program on beavers.

Participants got hands on experience with beaver pelt, skull and more before venturing to see actual beaver sign on the floodplain.

Recently we hosted community members at our Conservation Center in Concord to not only learn about our industrious wild neighbors, the beaver, but also to explore their habitat and get some hands on experience.

A boy looks at a beaver skull.

This program, presented by the Forest Society, kicked off with an informative session introducing the history, natural history, and amazing adaptations of the beaver as well as delving into the fascinating world of beavers, their behaviors, and their vital role in ecosystem health. From their remarkable building skills to their ecological significance, the program unfolded the story of these often underestimated and misunderstood creatures.   

In addition, the furbearer education kit was on hand, loaned by NHFG, which allowed participants to feel what a beaver pelt felt like, observe the size of their skull and tracks as well as what to look for in beaver scat.

One of the highlights of the program was the chance to observe an active beaver area on our floodplain. Guided by our staff educator and naturalist, Sarah Kern, participants ventured into the woods to explore and experience first hand the waterways, signs of beaver including chew and dams, as well as exploring what other amazing nature treats you can find on the Flood Plain.  

We found old downed logs, beaver chew, beaver chips, signs of an old lodge, and current signs of use. The program was designed to engage participants of all ages, fostering a connection with nature and the importance of coexisting with wildlife. Conservation efforts and strategies for mitigating human-wildlife conflicts were also discussed, highlighting the need for sustainable practices in shared environments.  

Participants walk the floodplain in search of signs of beaver activity.

As urbanization continues to encroach upon natural habitats, programs like these serve as vital platforms for environmental education and awareness.  In the grand tapestry of nature, beavers continue to emerge as unsung heroes, surviving being trapped almost to extinction, and now coming back and contributing to the health of ecosystems and the active fight against climate change. With tight family bonds, an impressive work ethic, and a cuteness factor that is off the charts, we believe in beavers!