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Coyotes Investigating Beaver Lodges

1-21-19 beaver lodge img_6186Over the past century beaver trapping has declined and beavers have returned to many of their former habitats. Wolves also have come back in a few areas (not the Northeast yet) — but most places where beavers now live remain free of wolves. As a result, the beaver population has continued to increase, limited only by a few predators, primarily humans and Eastern Coyotes.

Coyotes are major beaver predators and have established themselves throughout the Northeast partly because of the abundance of prey and partly because of the absence of wolves, who keep coyotes out of their habitat. During most of the year, coyotes can take advantage of beavers that leave their pond to feed on land. When they are in their lodges, however, beavers are fairly safe from coyote predation, especially if their lodge is surrounded by water. Come winter, when ponds freeze and beavers remain in their lodges, coyotes can easily approach an inhabited lodge by walking over the ice. Thanks to the lodge’s two to three-foot-thick walls of frozen mud and sticks, the beavers within are safe. (Photo: signs showing a coyote’s attempt to access a beaver lodge)

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5 responses

  1. Stein

    I’m currently reading a book published in 2018 by Ben Goldfarb called Eager: the surprising, secret life of beavers and why they matter. Thought you and your readers might find it interesting.
    Stay warm. It’s chilly out there!

    January 21, 2019 at 8:44 am

  2. Bill on the hill

    If I was a beaver on this minus -10° degree day, Wily Coyote would not be a welcome guest
    plunging down through the ceiling of my home…

    January 21, 2019 at 12:01 pm

  3. Virginia Cazort

    You are so brilliant!  I was really worried and so I took the Toyota to the Walmart  car service today when I was there and he said the same thing,  Explained it to me and I gave him five bucks which he took reluctantly. I was really worried. But makes all sense. Wild and exhausting trip to Tallahassee,  Trader Joe,  Gia’s kennel where she runs and has her nails cut, then Wamart in Crawfordville,  then back to the ferry,  always worried that I won’t  make it in time.  Home now and unpacking my two weeks  and $200.00 dollars’ worth of wheelings and dealings.  Last night’s soup for dinner and early to bed.Love,Mom

    January 21, 2019 at 6:56 pm

  4. Diane Alexander

    Hello Mary,

    I have been reading your emails for several years and look forward to what knowledge of nature I will be astonished with next. I share them with my sister in Northern VT also. We share a love of nature too. We love them. Thank so very much you for sending them.

    I have recently been reading about our native Mason Bees and the great pollinators that they are (one can pollinate as much as 60 honey bees). I have one Mason house and plan to get many others in the spring. I would love to hear what your take is on the hard working Mason Bees.

    Diane Alexander
    Winchendon, MA

    January 21, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    • Hi Diane,
      I would love to write a post about mason bees, but I haven’t had the opportunity to photograph them. If I do, or if someone sends me a good photograph of one, I will do so! Thank you for the suggestion.

      January 23, 2019 at 2:38 pm

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