International Beaver Day Date in the current year: April 7, 2024

International Beaver Day International Beaver Day is celebrated annually on April 7 to highlight the importance of beavers for ecosystems. Although beavers aren’t classified as threatened species, they nearly went extinct once so it is important to raise awareness of the threats beavers face.

Beavers are large, semi-aquatic rodents that make up the genus Castor. There are two extant beaver species: the North American beaver native to Canada and the United States, and the Eurasian beaver native to Eurasia. At some point, the Eurasian beaver almost went extinct, but it has since been reintroduced in most of Europe.

Beavers are easily recognizable due to their large orange incisors, webbed hind feet, and flat scaly tails. They use their chisel-like incisors to cut down trees that they need to build dams and lodges. Dams alter the paths of rivers and streams to create ponds for beavers to live in, whereas lodges protect beavers from the elements and predators.

Beavers are considered a keystone species, which means that they play a critical role in their ecosystems. Beaver dams result in the creation of extensive wetland habitats that are beneficial for many other species. Wetlands have biodiversity comparable to that of tropical rainforests; they are also important because they help to remove sediments and pollutants from waterways and can help to preserve important soils. Due to their ability to modify their environment and create new habitats, beavers are referred to as ecosystem engineers.

Today, both the Eurasian beaver and the North American beaver are categorized as least-concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. However, this hasn’t always been so; beavers were nearly exterminated in the late 19th and early 20th century as a result of overhunting for their meat, fur and castoreum. To prevent this from happening again, it is important to raise awareness of the importance of beavers for the environment.

International Beaver Day was launched in 2008 by Beavers: Wetlands and Wildlife (BWW), an environmental nonprofit that aims to educate the general public about the role of beavers in restoring and maintaining wetlands and effective solutions for problems that arise between beavers and humans.

The date of International Beaver Day was chosen to commemorate the birthday of American conservationist Dorothy Burner Richards, known as the “Beaver Lady” or “Beaver Woman”. Dorothy and her husband Al established Beaversprite, a nature reserve and beaver sanctuary in New York State, and helped to restore the North American beaver population in the area.

The main goal of International Beaver Day is to raise awareness of the contribution of beavers to a healthy environment. There are many ways to celebrate the holiday: you can learn interesting facts about beavers and share the things you’ve learned with anyone who is willing to listen, read a book or watch a documentary about beavers, take a hike to visit a beaver pond, plan a trip to Beaversprite, donate to BWW or another environmental nonprofit, and post about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #InternationalBeaverDay and #BeaverDay.

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International Observances, Ecological Observances


International Beaver Day, international observances, environmental observances, Dorothy Burner Richards, Beavers Wetlands and Wildlife