You otter see beavers!

During March, SPES is hosting evening guided walks to offer a glimpse of the beavers in Stanley Park. Guests will discover the habitat and behaviour of these semiaquatic mammals and hopefully be able to spot one swimming around or nibbling on a tree.

To celebrate this year’s World Water Day, March 22nd, SPES will be hosting Beavers and Beverages, where you can crack open a cold one before heading out on the guided stroll.

The following week, March 27th, will be another chance to spot these incredible animals at the You Otter See Beavers event.

A beaver launches into Beaver Lake (Photo: Mark White)

Chris, a beaver expert from the Beatty Biodiversity Museum UBC, leads the tours around Lost Lagoon where there are two beaver pairs. So far, Chris has been able to spot at least one beaver on all of the walks he has done in the past three years – he must be good luck! There is also a pair at Beaver Lake and in the past, bigger families have been spotted (usually the beavers’ young from that year and sometimes the previous year). The variety of plant material in the Park offers them lots to eat.

The beavers’ work can easily be seen on the walk, from the trees which they have knocked down to the lodge which they have built. Looking out onto Lost Lagoon, Chris explains how “lots of people call them dams, but the one here is actually a lodge. The beavers here actually don’t really make their dams as much because it doesn’t really freeze, so they don’t have to worry about creating deep water.”


Spotted! Last week on the You Otter See Beavers walk – the beavers have been hard at work on this tree at Lost Lagoon. (Photo: Jess Causby/SPES)

Beavers usually try to create deeper ponds in areas which are much colder, so that when it freezes, it doesn’t freeze all the way to the bottom. They will dig trenches, which makes a great
habitat for both them and lots of other animals.

Did you know?

  • That beavers can hold their breath for up to fifteen minutes underwater.
  • The large front teeth of a beaver never stop growing, (hence the constant gnawing of trees).
  • Beavers only come out at dawn and dusk, usually to avoid predators.
  • Finally, they eat their own dung to help with their digestive system (yuk!)

So, get down to SPES’s beaver events and don’t miss your chance to spot one of these mischievous but magnificent animals!

Check the SPES events calendar for info and registration:
http://stanleyparkecology.ca/events/2019-03/

By Jess Causby, SPES Communications Volunteer