Written by Industry Expert Gavin Ferris, Ecologist
As an ecologist, I field questions on topics ranging from the lifespan of a tadpole to the best way to defend koi against the ravages of a great blue heron. Of all the animals I am asked about, however, three mammals probably produce the most concern and curiosity: the muskrat, the beaver, and the otter.
Each of these aquatic animals plays a unique role in the environment, fulfilling a niche that contributes to its aquatic ecosystem, and all three animals are frequently found together, thanks largely to the services provided by the beaver. Beavers are perhaps the world’s first engineers, modifying their environment to suit their needs. Relying on deep water for safety, beavers have an innate drive to dam up moving water. When they see a stream, they want it to be