Eurasian Beaver, European Beaver

(Castor fiber)


Eurasian Beaver, European Beaver IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The beaver is a semi-aquatic species. It is the second-largest rodent worldwide. It is a compact animal with a massive head, small eyes, small valvular ears and valvular nostrils. The legs are short, hands and feet have five digits, those of the feet being webbed.


The head-body length ranges from 60-80 cm, the flat and hairless, padlde-like tail is up to 45 cm long 13 cm wide. The body-weight range is about 12-25 kg, but heavier animals, up to 40 kg, have been reported. Females are slightly larger than males.


The beaver's fur is unusually dense, consisting of fine underfur overlaid with coarse guard hairs The colour is uniformly glossy or yellowish on the upper side, and brown to tawny on the underparts. Legs and tail are blackish.

Did you know?
That beavers are second only to humans in their capacity to manipulate the environment? By building and maintaining dams, busy beavers can completely change the vegetation, animal life, and other components of the watersheds in which they live. The ponds created by the dams are the beaver's first defense against predators like the lynx and wolf.


Name (Scientific) Castor fiber
Name (English) Eurasian Beaver, European Beaver
Name (French) Castor d'Europe, Castor d'Eurasie
Name (German) Europäischer Biber
Name (Spanish) Castor europeo
Local names Czech: Bobr evropský
Danish: Bæver
Dutch, Norwegian: Bever
Estonian: Euroopa kobras
Finnish: Majava
Hungarian: Közönséges hód
Italian: Castoro europeo
Latvian, Lettonian: Bebrs
Lithuanian: Upinis bebras
Polish: Bóbr europejski
Portuguese: Castor
Romanian: Castorul
Romansh: Castur
Serbo-Croatian: Europski dabar
Slovak: Bobo vodny
Swedish: Bäver
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Per Harald Olson



Range Eurasia
Habitat Freshwater lakes and rivers, usually near woodlands
Wild population Approx. 639.000 (2006) (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 17 reported to ISIS

In the Zoo

Eurasian Beaver, European Beaver


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 80 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
M. Croucho

Why do zoos keep this animal

Due to overhunting and loss of habitat the beaver had disappeared from the major part of its European range. In the mid 20th Century efforts were undertaken in several countries to reintroduce beavers, and zoos were instrumental in some of these programmes, e.g. in Switzerland. As wild beaver populations are recovering, releases become less necessary, and conservation efforts focus on the restoration of water courses and other habitat improvements. Zoos now keep beavers primarily for educational reasons because of their unique way of life and because they are the largest European rodents, and as ambassadors for healthy freshwater ecosystems.