Common Name: Beaver
Scientific Name: Castor canadensis
Habitat: Semiaquatic—wooded streams and lake shores.
Diet: Herbivorous—especially bark and small twigs.
The beaver is a large rodent adapted for aquatic life. Although awkward on land, it is capable of felling trees eight feet in diameter for construction of its lodge. Details of its engineering prowess make fascinating reading. So, too, is its remarkable recovery in Pennsylvania. The beaver was trapped for its luxuriant fur by early settlers and disappeared from Pennsylvania by the mid-1800s. In the summer of 1917, a pair of beaver from Wisconsin was released in Cameron County. Within five years, the beaver populations of Cameron County and southern McKean County were well established from that original pair. That group and subsequent releases from Canada and New York in 1919, 1920, 1922, and 1924 form the nucleus of the current inhabitants in the Commonwealth.