Actual Size: body length 23-30”; weight 30-70 lbs.

Characteristics: Stocky body with dark brown, silky fur. Broad, flat, scaly tail up to six inches wide and webbed hind feet for swimming.

Habitat: Construct lodges and can be found in streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, large reservoirs, swamps, wetlands and drainage ditches.


  • Builds dome-shaped structures called “lodges” made of sticks and mud varying in size from 6 to 50 feet.
  • Feeds on bark and cambium, which is the softer growing tissue under the bark of trees.
  • Can cause flooding and significant damage to ornamental trees and vegetation.

Beavers in North Carolina

Beavers are the largest rodents in North Carolina. They have thick fur, webbed feet, and scale-covered tails. Their powerful jaws and teeth allow them to use trees in order to build homes and dams, often changing their environment in ways few other animals can. Beavers don’t just build homes from trees, but they eat them as well. Beavers are one of the few mammals that can digest cellulose, a major component of their diet.

Beaver Habitat

Beavers require water to survive and live in or around freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, marshes, and swamps. Beavers build dams across streams to create a pond where they can build a “beaver lodge” to live and raise their young. Lodges are little dome-shaped houses made from woven sticks, grasses, and moss plastered with mud. Beavers live in family units called colonies, which range in size from two to eight beavers.

Beaver Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Beavers are problematic to humans as a result of their behavioral tendency to gnaw and fell trees as they build dams in water systems and cause flooding. Beaver dams have been responsible for water systems overflowing their banks and causing flooding. They also destroy woody plants and their favorites include willow, maple, poplar, beech, birch, alder, and aspen trees.
If you are having an issue with beavers, it is best to consult a professional wildlife control company for removal.