Beavers are naturally peaceful animals and one of the biggest rodents that can live in both water and land. A natural native to the Northern Hemisphere, beavers maintain a tight family structure that aids their growth and increase in numbers. Beavers have the largest population among rodents.
Due to their large population spread, beavers suffer significant losses to predators in the wild. These predators typically hunt beavers at different stages of their lives, with a good number being natural predators. Read on to know the ten major beaver predators.
What Eats A Beaver?
Beavers have several natural predators due to their small size. There are lots of animals that will actively hunt and eat beavers without hesitation. The three biggest beavers’ natural predators are Lynx, Wolverines, and wolves. The next section will highlight all major beaver predators.
What Animals Eat Beavers?
Owls target beavers occasionally, thanks to their sharp sight and great hearing capabilities. There have been several reports of owls actively killing and eating beavers both day and night. They have an advantage over the rodent because of their flight ability which helps them stall the rodent mid-air before launching a fast attack.
Bears actively hunt beavers as both often share the same habitat. The enormous strength of bears makes them apex predators, and beavers are just one of the many preys they kill and eat.
Black bears enjoy beavers more than most prey, making them a severe risk for beavers. Bears typically kill beavers by biting and hitting them against a flat surface.
Mountain lions or cougars are specialists in hunting down smaller animals, and beavers fall into that category. Mountain lions typically hunt beavers at night when it is the most vulnerable. It stealthily sneaks up on the rodent and breaks its neck with its heavy jaws.
When Cougars kill beavers, they sometimes dig a shallow hole and bury the carcass with dirt. They will return to the spot and feed on the carrion for the next few days.
Foxes are major predators of beavers, killing and eating them. Foxes occasionally chase down beavers and kill them. However, they prefer the easier route of stalking the rodents as the latter can easily find a small opening to save its head.
Lynx hunt beavers just like any other natural predator. The bobcat, specifically the Red Lynx, goes the extra mile to hunt beaver in rivers. Bobcats can swim a great length to catch and kill them.
The bobcat is one of the very few cats that can successfully hunt beavers for food
Beavers’ hunting is largely regulated in most of its habitats. However, hunting and killing them is quite common as they serve as a source of rich protein. We also hunt them for their furs. Humans are not the biggest risks to beavers but are active predators.
Coyotes account for a significant number of beavers’ deaths in Eurasia and the United States. Considered a primary land predator of the rodent, Coyotes usually wait for beavers to leave the water and attack them on land.
Coyotes are extremely tenacious and possess great stamina, which they employ when chasing down beavers. They often target beavers in winter when rivers get frozen, and the latter needs to frequent land for food.
While Otters’ primary food preferences are amphibians and fish, they also eat beavers. The Otters living in the Northern River of the United States eat young and adult beavers.
Wolves are usually ranked among the top two significant beavers’ predators. Extremely intelligent and lightning-fast, wolves often chase down beavers and kill them. They sometimes set an ambush for the rodent or creep on them.
Wolves are not shy of using different tricks to get beavers, which is why they are so dangerous. They typically injure the rodent by biting them in vulnerable areas of their body.
Wolves sometimes hunt beavers in a pack and carry out bounty killing. They save the excess food to eat later. Beavers often try to move from wolves-infested areas.
Wolverines are beavers’ biggest predators, with the former going to great lengths to kill both adults and baby beavers. Known for their high-level tenacity and enormous strength that defiles their size, wolverines often dig through the ice, frozen branches, and mud to get to beaver enclaves.
This behavior from wolverines is extremely worrying for beavers as lodging under ice and dirt is their last defense technique against predators.
Wolverines are heavily into beavers and don’t mind eating their carcasses even at the stage of decay.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Coyotes Eat Beavers?
Coyotes typically hunt and eat beavers whenever the latter leave the water to search for food on land. During winter, when most beavers frequent dry land for food, coyotes have a field day hunting and killing them.
Do Alligators Eat Beavers?
Alligators eat beavers if they can catch them. Juvenile alligators will find it difficult to kill a beaver. The adults, however, do not have that problem if they are lucky enough to sneak on a beaver and have their jaws around it.
Do People Eat Beavers?
Yes. Humans do eat beavers. While a large demography of humans does not consider the rodent worth eating, others love the taste of the meat and claim its taste is similar to dried beef. Beavers are a rich source of protein.
Do Beavers Eat Other Rodents?
Beavers are 100% vegetarians. They do not eat meat or fish and, as such, do not eat other rodents. They rely on aquatic plants, tree bark, and twigs for sustenance. Their food is mostly easy to find, making it easy for them to thrive and keep a close family unit.