Beaver (Castor canadensis) are found throughout Colorado, sometimes even in urban areas. These large members of the rodent family are well known for their ability to change and control the hydrology of the streams where they live.
Although beaver dams and ponds are a common landscape feature in many of Colorado’s higher mountain valleys, we don’t usually think of finding them in the canyons of the eastern plains. CNHP Zoologist John Sovell took these photos of a beaver next to its den in the bank of a small stream in southeastern Colorado.
Here, instead of majestic aspen and mountain willows, a beaver must make do with coyote willow and cottonwood saplings.