State Symbols USA home page

Google

  SITEMAP  

  QUIZ  

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
USA (national)

Oregon State Animal:

American beaver - click to see all state animal symbols
Beaver photo by Ilyes Laszlo / Wikimedia Commons -
Creative Commons 2.0 license. See All State Animals - Mammals.

Beaver

See beaver video below

Oregon designated the beaver (Castor canadensis) as the official state animal in 1969. The beaver appears on the reverse of the state flag, and Oregon's nickname is "The Beaver State," stemming from the early 19th century when fur hats were fashionable and Oregon’s streams were an important source of beaver.

Beavers were overtrapped by early settlers for their fur, eliminating them from much of their original range. Native Americans and early settlers also ate beaver meat. The trapping routes used by early "mountain men" later became known as The Oregon Trail, traveled by thousands of pioneers in the 1840's. Through management and partial protection, the beaver is reestablished throughout Oregon.

Beaver on Oregon's state flag - click to see all state flags
Beaver on reverse of Oregon's state flag.
See All State Flags - National Flag.

Beavers are the second-largest rodent in the world (after the capybara) and are closely related to squirrels. Known as "nature's engineer, the beaver's dam-building activities are important to natural water flow and erosion control. Beaver dams are created in order to build their homes in the resulting ponds (known as beaver lodges). The lodges serve as protection against predators (such as coyotes, wolves and bears) and provide easy access to food during winter. Beavers always work at night and are prolific builders, carrying mud and stones with their fore-paws and timber between their teeth. The largest known beaver dam (discovered near Three Forks, Montana) was 2,140 feet long, 14 feet high, and 23 feet thick at the base!

Beaver nibbling on a twig - click to see all mammal symbols
Beaver - public domain photo from NPS on We for Animals.
See All State Animals - Mammals.

Beavers have webbed hind-feet, and a broad, scaly tail. They have poor eyesight, but a keen sense of hearing, smell, and touch. They use their broad, flat tails to create a loud slap on the water before diving for cover into their lodge when startled or frightened. This slap can be heard over large distances above and below the water. When a beaver gives this danger signal, all nearby beavers will dive and may not re-emerge for some time.

The American beavers' favorite food is the water-lily , which grows at the bottom of lakes and rivers. Beavers also gnaw the bark of birch, poplar and willow trees, and during the summer consume varied herbage and berries.

Source:
State Symbols: Oregon Blue Book
Beaver: Wikipedia.org
Links:
All State Animals - Mammals


    

 

Oregon Symbols & Icons:

bird - animal
flower - insect   
fish - shell
mushroom
fossil - rock
gemstone - tree
fruit - nut - soil

flag - seal - quarter
motto - colors
name - nickname
song - dance
mother - father
beverage - team
hostess - pageant
 

Share |

Oregon Alphabet Book
B Is for Beaver: An Oregon Alphabet

Google

What are your State Symbols?
State Symbols USA is a nonprofit organization promoting
appreciation for our natural treasures and cultural heritage.