International Beaver Day is celebrated annually on April 7. The holiday was created in 2009 by Beavers Wetlands & Wildlife (B.W.W.,) a non-profit organization with members in the United States, Canada, and other countries. Beavers are a unique and important keystone species, having a great impact on the ecosystem. Since 1985, B.W.W. has made big strides in research and education with the intention to create awareness about the little dam-builders known as beavers.
History of International Beaver Day
International Beaver Day was created in 2009 by Beavers Wetlands & Wildlife (B.W.W.). April 7 was chosen as the date for the holiday because it marks the birthday of Dorothy Richards — popularly known as the ‘Beaver Woman’ — who was born in 1894. Richards engaged in the study of beavers for 50 years of her life.
The word ‘beaver’ derived its origin from the Old English word ‘beofor,’ meaning ‘brown’ or ‘bright.’ Beavers are semiaquatic rodents found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere in countries like Canada, Poland, Germany, France, central Russia, and southern Scandinavia, among others. They are the second-largest semi-aquatic rodents on earth, second only to capybaras. They typically live in freshwater environments, such as rivers, lakes, streams, and ponds. Beavers have large heads, stout bodies, and brown or gray fur, with hand-like front feet and back feet that are webbed.
Beavers are a keystone species, meaning that they have a disproportionately large effect on the environment in comparison to their number. Beavers make good use of the trees they eat by building dams and lodges with the leftover parts of it, also transporting other materials such as mud, rocks, and debris. Because they were often hunted for their fur and meat, beavers nearly became extinct in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Though there were reported to be about 60 million beavers in North America at one time, their population has dropped to around 10 to 15 million.
International Beaver Day timeline
Richards is born in Camberwell, London.
Richards becomes interested in beavers after reading “Pilgrims of the Wild” by Grey Owl.
Friends of Beaversprite is created by friends and professional associates of Richards.
International Beaver Day is created by Beavers Wetlands & Wildlife.
International Beaver Day FAQs
Are beavers herbivores, omnivores or carnivores?
Beavers are strictly herbivores that feed on tree bark, twigs, foliage, and aquatic plants.
What is the average lifespan of a beaver?
On average, beavers live for about 16 years.
What animals prey on beavers?
Beavers’ predators include coyotes, bobcats, foxes, great-horned owls, and otters.
International Beaver Day Activities
Visit a beaver pond
On this fun day, take time out to visit a beaver pond. If you’re lucky, you might be able to spot some.
Make a fun, beaver-themed post
Make some fun posts about beavers and share them with your friends. Throw in a few beaver puns so they can have a good laugh.
Share your knowledge
There’s so much interesting knowledge about beavers. Share this article on social media and remember to use the hashtag #internationalbeaverday for more visibility.
5 Surprising Facts About Beavers
Beavers are recognized in Canada
The beaver is the national animal of Canada.
Beavers were once considered fish
The Catholic Church once declared that beavers were fish for Lent.
Beavers are faithful partners
Beaver couples are usually monogamous and can remain together for multiple breeding seasons.
Beavers are builders
Beavers work during the night, transporting stones and mud with their paws and holding timber between their teeth.
Beavers have goggle eyes
Beavers have a set of transparent eyelids that allow them to see underwater.
Why We Love International Beaver Day
It creates awareness about beavers
Though beavers are fairly popular animals, most people know little about their importance to the environment. This holiday is a great way to create more awareness about these furry little animals.
It celebrates the life of Dorothy Richards
For 50 years, Richards worked tirelessly to study beavers. Her achievements and dedication will be remembered and appreciated during International Beaver day.
It promotes animal protection
Because of their fur, meat, and castoreum, beavers have been hunted in the past. International Beaver Day ensures that beavers are protected.
International Beaver Day dates