Beavers construct their homes, called lodges, along the river bank. They build them from wood, rocks and mud, using their teeth as tools. The lodge’s entrances are always underwater so that uninvited guests stay out. The beavers build dams to make sure that the water stays at the right level. This isn’t always necessary, however: in some cases, the river is deep enough to keep the lodge’s entrances underwater.
Beavers play an important role for our rivers and streams. They are Nature’s very own waterway managers. However, in the past, they were hunted on a massive scale for their pelts. The Netherlands’ last wild beaver was killed in 1826. In 1988, beavers returned to the country, when dozens of beavers were re-introduced to the Biesbosch. This was followed from 1994 on by reintroductions in Gelderse Poort and along the Maas and Hunze rivers. Today, the Netherlands is once again home to over 1,000 beavers.