Beavers aren't top predators in any remote sense of the word. After all, the robust rodents are serious herbivores and eat mostly tubers, shoots, buds, foliage, roots, stems, barks, twigs and other plant substances -- no meat at all on their menu. However, they definitely are the target of several predators within the animal kingdom. The beaver world is made up of two species -- the North American beaver (Castor canadensis) and the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber), both of which have their own sets of predators.
Animals That Eat North American Beavers
The North American beaver lives in areas all over the North American continent, from the northern portion of Mexico up into Canada. Some of these rodents' most common predators include fishers, coyotes, hawks, brown and black bears, northern river otters, lynx, eagles, mountain lions, owls, wolverines and wolves. People are also serious threats to North American beavers, as they sometimes hunt them for their skins and fur.
Details on North American Beavers and Predators
Predation is especially prevalent in the youngsters, as they are physically much smaller and therefore easier to attack than their fully grown counterparts. Adult beavers are large enough to dissuade attacks from some predators, and they can ward off others by slapping their tails against the water.
Animals That Eat Eurasian Beavers
Eurasian beavers, as their name suggests, inhabit areas of Asia and Europe, including Mongolia, Poland, France and Russia. These semi-aquatic animals also have a diverse array of predators, some of which are red foxes, brown bears, lynx and Eurasian wolves. Similarly to North American beavers, Eurasian beavers are also hunted by humans for flesh and fur. Although beaver hunting is unlawful in Mongolia, it takes place occasionally.
Details on Eurasian Beavers and Predators
As with North American beavers, Eurasian beavers often can stay safe and sound away from menacing predators simply by remaining inside their sturdy, well-crafted lodges. These beavers are also savvy enough to stay far away from types of sustenance that retain the smells of other predators.
- WAZA: Eurasian Beaver
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Castor canadensis
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Castor fiber
- National Geographic: Beaver
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Castor canadensis
- Washington Wildlife Habitat Connectivity Working Group: Habitat Connecticut for Beaver (Castor canadensis) in the Columbia Plateau Ecoregion
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Castor fiber