Beaver dams are obviously good for beavers, but what about the rest of the ecosystem?
Obviously, the act of building up a structure in the middle of a stream of running water has some drawbacks. Dams that beavers build can impact the flow of natural waterways, and the cutting down of trees for the building of those structures can also negatively impact wildlife habitats.
In some rare cases, a beaver dam failing can cause a massive influx of running water, which can lead to flooding and damaged roadways. It’s for those reasons (and many others) that the dams can sometimes be viewed negatively.
However, just as beaver dams have cons, they also come with a fair share of pros. First and foremost, the structure built on the water provides a home for beavers, and gives them protection from potential predators. Then you have some more large scale benefits, like less erosion, and in some cases, decreased amounts of flooding (yes, beaver dams can both prevent and cause flooding).
And as you’ll see in the stunning trail camera video below, a beaver dam can also act as a organic bridge across bodies of water. In the clip below, you’ll see the structure that the beaver has built (and is shown still building) is used by a family of bears, deer, geese, and one beaver that was narrowly able to avoid a wolf attack.
The beaver that lived to see another day (and likely build another dam) was certainly thankful for the dam at the edge of this pond, and if you could ask all the other animals that used the “beaver bridge” how they felt about it, they’d definitely be appreciative of the beaver-built dam.
Voyageurs Wolf Project (located in Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota) shot and collected the footage and posted the edited down video with the caption:
“Pure beaver dam magic! This footage chronicles the happenings on a remote beaver dam from late winter to fall. We did our best to distill the three hours of footage we captured at this dam into this six minute video.
And did we catch some neat stuff… including an amazingly rare sequence of a wolf hunting a beaver, a bear with 3 tiny cubs, beavers doing funny things, and an abundance of other wildlife.”