Identifying Beaver Tracks
As semi-aquatic creatures, beavers are on land less often than other mammals and have fewer opportunities to leave tracks. When beaver tracks are seen, they’re usually on the muddy banks of a river. Both their front and hind feet have five toes, though their hind feet are webbed. Tracks will appear very close together on each side due to the animals’ gait. Their flat tails drag on the ground when they walk, sometimes partially wiping away tracks and obscuring them. It is rare to find beaver tracks in the snow because they prefer to spend as much time as possible in their lodges when it’s cold outside.
Other Signs of Beaver Presence
Beavers are the largest rodents found in North America, weighing up to 60 pounds and measuring up to two and a half feet long minus their tails, which can add another 12 inches. Since they are slow and awkward on land, they rarely travel far from water unless searching for food or a new home. Despite this lack of beaver tracks, they leave more obvious signs of their presence than perhaps any other animal with their dam building, lodge building, and chewing of trees, shrubs, and leaves.
Damage and Disease
In addition to damaging vegetation with their chewing and causing river blockages with their dams, beavers also carry tularemia, an illness that can be transmitted to humans. Symptoms include fever, body aches, and upset stomach. As beavers defecate in water, they can sicken people who drink from streams and lakes. When land owners spot beaver tracks or other evidence of their presence, they can contact the wildlife experts at Trutech for professional removal.