Beavers lived across most of North America for millennia before the unregulated colonial fur trade industry nearly drove them to extinction two centuries ago. Fortunately though, beaver populations are gradually recovering and they are returning to their native habitats across the continent. This is good news because the dams and ponds that beavers build create entire ecosystems that increase biodiversity, store water, improve water quality, combat climate change, and restore rivers and streams. Many of our threatened and endangered species including Atlantic and Pacific salmon require beaver ponds for their recovery and survival. For these reasons biologists classify beavers as a Keystone species, critical to the health of a myriad of species. Beavers are natural wetland restoration agents. So the return of beavers across North America is resulting in healthier watersheds, more water when it is needed, and improved habitats for many animal, plant and other species.

Unfortunately though, beavers are widely misunderstood and often killed when their natural dam making abilities interferes with human land-use interests. To support coexistence with beavers and the many other species that rely on them for survival, the Beaver Institute aims to educate and train both the layperson and professionals about the benefits and best management of beavers on our landscape.

Beaver Basics

Beaver Benefits Handout

The BI Beaver Primer - A brief overview of beaver history, ecology and management in N. America

Beavers - Their ponds can provide flood control and natural fire breaks

Beaver Life History and Ecology - Jen Vanderhoof

The Beaver Restoration Guide 2017

Beaver Dam Information

Beaver Population Dynamics Study

Historic 1927 Beaver Publication USDA

Beaver Wetlands Article

Beaver Ecosystem Cycle Article

Georgia Forest Watch Beaver Article

Beaver Winter Survival

NH DFW Beaver Report 2015

Giardia and Beavers

Beaver Videos

Check out great videos on Beaver Institute’s YouTube Channel, including some of the presentations given at BeaverCON 2020!

Beaver Institute's YouTube Channel


The Mighty Beaver - Frances Backhouse, Ideacity Presentation 2017

The Beaver as an Eco-Friend - Dr. Glynnis Hood, Ideacity Presentation 2011


All About Beavers for Children: Animal Videos for Kids – FreeSchool


How Beavers Build Dams | Leave it to Beavers | PBS


Beaver Fever is Fake News


Beavers Up Close Building a Lodge


How Beavers Build a Lodge – BBC Animals


Beavers Improve Biodiversity and Prevent Flooding – Wildwood Trust


An Inside Look at a Beaver Lodge by Jeff Hogan


Swimming underwater into a beaver lodge


Beaver Tail Slap Warning