Today, April 7th, is International Beaver Day. Although not endangered, this shy creature plays an important role in maintaining local ecosystems. Sometimes referred to as nature's engineers, the benefits of having local beavers are many: their ponds "increase stream flows in seasonally dry streams by storing run-off in the rainy season", they help waterfowl "by creating increased areas of water," and they even help to restore streams! In fact, 600 beavers put to work by the US government in the 1930s to stop soil erosion by streams in Oregon where so effective, that it was estimated each beaver completed work worth $300!
"Beaver dams restore wetlands, those 'rainforests of the North', rated as the land's best life support system", explains BWW. "Learning to coexist with beaver wetlands ensures that we continue to enjoy essential natural services, such as water cleansing. Nature's engineers can help combat climate change too. That's because their dams and wetlands hold water on the land, which decreases damage from both droughts and major floods--extreme weather events that are increasing with climate change. Plus, the lush plant life of marshy beaver wetlands absorbs much carbon dioxide, and draining these sites results in the release of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas".
To celebrate International Beaver Day, Bored Panda has collected the cutest pictures of baby beavers around. Which one is the beaver for you? Vote, or submit your own baby beaver photos below!