Introduction: Leave It to Beavers (02:01)
Beavers can turn a desert into a garden by controlling water direction and building landscapes. Conservationists try to rehabilitate the species. (Credits)
River Dams (03:46)
Beavers are blind and slow, but they are extraordinary engineers. As vegetarians, they gnaw through bark to get to the sugary substance underneath; their teeth are orange and self-sharpen. Dams made by beavers filter billions of tons of water and prevent droughts.
Beaver Pelts (02:24)
Beaver trapping for over 200 years results in their near extinction. The potential for flooding makes beavers a nuisance to housing developments, farms, and golf courses.
Wildlife Redirection in Canada (06:22)
If a beaver hears a recording of running water, it believes the pond is draining and will start reinforcing its dam. Michel LeClair stops beavers from flooding roads in Gatineau Park by placing posts 15 feet away from a culvert. Wildlife managers need to be plumbers.
Rocky Mountains (03:40)
During spring, birds and mammals feed in beaver created habitats. A tail slap warns of potential threats. Kits supplement their mother's milk with green leaves; offspring do not leave the family until they are over two years old.
Elk Island National Park (02:36)
Dr. Glynnis Hood studies the descendants of seven beavers that were reintroduced in Alberta. Maps demonstrate active and inactive ponds over the past 54 years. Beavers mitigate the effects of drought and keep water on the landscape.
Sierra Nevada Mountains (03:46)
Dr. Suzanne Fouty and Carol Evans discover a beaver habitat with sandhill cranes and mule deer. Cattle are kept away from the damaged sections of streams. Beavers create small pockets of groundwater.
Beavers in Midsummer (05:59)
Kits explore their surroundings while the two-year-old goes upriver to find his own territory. The family relocates after depleting the trees. A beaver named Timber undergoes rehabilitation after being injured and traumatized by teenage boys.
New Beaver Territory (03:43)
The two-year-old begins repairing a disused lodge and half-broken dam. The water level rises. If another male arrives, the two will fight for the territory; a female arrives and courtship begins.
Beaver Reintroduction (06:42)
Five orphaned beavers rescued from a drainage ditch arrive at a valley in Colorado to rehabilitate the landscape. Sherry Tippie explains why the species is the keystone to an aquatic ecosystem. Creeks meander and support life; fathers show the kits how to behave.
Timber's Progress (02:26)
The beaver will undergo a year of training. He begins gnawing sticks, exploring by himself, and breathing underwater for up to a minute. Beavers mature at two-years-old. Timber disappears from the pond.
Beavers in Autumn (02:24)
The two-year-old's lodge has hollowed out areas for eating and sleeping and several underwater entrances. Beavers do not hibernate so they need to create a larder of trees underwater. A moose tries to raid the food supply.
Locating Timber (02:50)
Michele Grant discovers a beaver skull is devastated. At a neighbor's pond, she finds Timber interacting with an adult beaver and her kits. She feels validated about the rehabilitation.
Beavers in Winter (03:14)
Wolves and Coyotes howl; bears hibernate. The male beaver risks exposure to predators to collect food for his pregnant mate. His lodge hosts deer mice, insects, frogs, and muskrats.
Credits: Leave It to Beavers (00:52)
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