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The beaver

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Colorado’s largest rodent, the beaver.
The beaver, Colorado’s largest rodent

There’s only one Colorado rodent that grows to nearly 50 pounds, sees underwater and prefers to spend time next to its own homemade ponds. The beaver.

The beaver's wide black tail helps it swim better, make alarm sounds, and keep balance hauling heavy logs. It carves these building materials with iron-enhanced teeth, which grow throughout its life to counteract its constant gnawing on trees and sticks to build dams, which redirect rivers, create wetlands and shape neighboring forests.

The 19th century's fashion passion for beaver felt depleted Colorado's population. But that could change thanks to the beaver’s natural engineering abilities. In Colorado, a group of scientists and citizens is working to restore streams and wetlands with the beaver’s help. An added benefit? Those beaver ponds can also help clean up abandoned mines and slow or prevent wildfires.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.