Mountain Beaver Fever

Save the Mountain Beaver, they could be gone far too soon.

Physical Appearence

Mountain Beavers, even though their name claims it aren't really beavers at all. They are closely regarded as medium sized muskrats. They are only called beavers because of there relation to chewing wood like plants. They have unique characteristics that make them the species they are. Fully grown adults are about 24cm-28cm long with the tail being about the same length. Since they are burrowing creatures, they have really powerful legs and arms which allows them to dig through the dirt to make their home. The Beavers become sexually mature at about 2.5 years of age and that is when they begin to mate. They mate and have a litter of an average of 2-3 young beavers. When they reach 2 months of age, they emerge from the burrow. Since they fall under the rodent family, they often are mistaken for other small mammals and are sadly killed in likewise events (Government of Canada, 2015). These animals are also killed easily by predators. The colors they wear are easily seen and their burrows can be accessed easily. They are usually killed by any larger mammal, bird or reptile that is a omnivore or a carnivore (BC Coastal Conservation, 2012).
(South Coast Conservation Program, 2015)
(Newell.T., 2004)
(BC Conservation Program, 2012)

Mountain Beavers are strict herbivores. They eat deciduous plants in the summer and coniferous plants in the winter. They use frozen or inedible plants for their burrow and other uses. These creatures are very unsocial, making no contact with other species. They do not interact with anything out of said family of beavers and will usually not fight back. They will either run away or accept death. The one way they communicate is through high pitch sounds. Sadly, the beavers have a short life expectancy of about 8 years
(W. Beacham, 2001)
(PAWS, n.d.)
(BC Conservation Program, 2012)

Picture Reference (Tom & Pat Leeson, 2012)
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(Joseph James, 2013)

Habitat and Range

Mountain Beavers aren't found that commonly. Their only locations are extreme south eastern British Colombia and southwards of that. They live in elevations from 0m-3000m (South Coast Conservation Program, 2015). In those locations which they do not expand on but contract on, they have their burrows. They prefer to dig their burrows in very moist soils slightly above the water table (BC Conservation Program, 2015) These burrows are found in forests near the ocean. The burrows aren't that big but they are very advanced considering the human like room systems they've implemented. Each room serves its' own purpose and they have a waste disposal room. The burrows are at biggest 20cm in diameter and are about 1m-2m under ground (Newell.T.,2004). After they complete their burrow, they create tunnels that lead to many different places such as other burrows and food sites (PAWS, n.d.). The warmer seasons are used for burrowing because these animals cannot preform well in cold temperatures.
(Government of Canada, 2015)
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(South Coast Conservation Program, 2014)

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(South Coast Conservation Program, 2015)

Reasons For Special Concern Status

The reason for this rather unknown animal to be at a special concern status is for a rather large number of reasons (Government of Canada, 2015) The problem is, in the forest area in B.C., clear cutting of the trees and smoothing out the land. In turn, that creates soil disturbance and pollution and that fragile state of soil is needed to keep these little mammals alive (South Coast Conservation Program, 2015) Residents of the area also need to be informed not to disturb any suspected burrows and to now poison or make any ecological changes to the area without government consent (South Coast Conservation Program, 2015) These animals are very genetically isolated and fragile, lots needs to be done to protect them (W.Beacham, 2001)

Picture Reference (South Coast Conservation Program, 2015)

What Needs to be Done?

There are a number of things that can be done to help protect these wonderful Mountain Beavers. One of which is to halt or lessen the amount of government industrialization in areas such as these (South Coast Conservation Program, 2015) (PAWS, 2015). This could go for almost any animal (BC Conservation Program). Make sure no dangerous pipelines or poisons are within the area the animals burrow or roam. If there are potential hazards for the said area, make sure a minimum of a six foot fence like barrier is built to keep the Beavers out of harms way. do not poison or pollute any holes without governmental consent. The burrows do not usually pop out of the ground but if you see any burrow like structures on property, do not obstruct them in any way. In some situations, even underground protections is needed (South Coast Conservation Program, 2015) (PAWS, n.d.) (BC Conservation Program, 2012). No electrical wires should be dangerously exposed, if they are, you are in a violation of laws (South Coast Conservation Program, 2015). These rules are strictly enforced by the government, if these are violated, punishment and fines are prominent (Government of Canada, 2015)
Mountain Beaver - El Escapado

South Coast Conservation Program

This wonderful organization is helping protect the Mountain Beaver from becoming more concerning. They work hand in hand with Environment Canada and the folks at the SARA registry to keep this wonderful critter only at special concern. They are a great Canadian non-profit organization. They work with the governmental branch of BC Conservation Program (BC Conservation Program, 2015).
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(Cronell University, 1989)

FACTS AND STATISTICS

They are considered Beavers commonly, but through science, they aren't part of the same family

Unknown. PAWS - People Helping Animals. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from

http://www.paws.org/wildlife/having-a-wildlife-problem/mammals/mountain-beavers/


There are only about 1600 adults left in Canada - Species Profile. (2015, April 17). Retrieved April 22, 2015, from

http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/species/speciesDetails_e.cfm?sid=333


24cm - 28cm long -

BC Coastal Conservation. (2012, May). Retrieved April 23, 2015, from

http://ibis.geog.ubc.ca/biodiversity/factsheets/pdf/Aplodontia_rufa.pdf

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(Justin Secrist, 2015)