EXPLORING BEAVER HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION WITH GOOGLE EARTH:
EXCEPTIONAL BEAVER HABITAT ON THE SLOPES OF THE PASQUIA HILLS, SASKATCHEWAN
Beavers are interesting to study with Google Earth since their "foot print" is clearly visible on the high resolution and somewhat recognizable on low resolution images. The images below (left) gives the distribution of beaver (Castor Canadensis) in North America. The image on the right give the locations which I have studied with Google Earth, mostly high resolution imagery to locate, measure and classify beaver dams. The longest beaver dam found by me to date is about 600 meters in length. In some cases two dams (each with its own lodge) connect and I have observed lengths of over 900 meters.
The slopes of the Pasquia Hills area in Northern Saskatchewan have some of the most impressive beaver habitat and beaver densities I have seen so far. While 10 -15 beaver dams in a stretch of 1000 meters of streambed are not uncommon, it is is exceptional to find 15-20 beaver dams distributed evenly in a square kilometer of "wetland". Not all dams have lodges with them. As each lodge seems to have an average of about 5.2 beavers, the average population density in some of the wetlands on the slopes surrounding the Pasquia Hills could well be over 50-100 beavers per Km2!!