My New Neighbours, the Beavers

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When I was a kid, beavers were kind of exotic animals that lived in distant parts, like bears or wolverines. Over the past decade or two though, they’ve multiplied here in Nacka municipality, much as the wild boar population has exploded in this part of Sweden. Still, the beavers haven’t really reached my part of Nacka — until now.

Today I found their tell-tale felled trees on the edge of the fen next to the Östervik commuter train station, a few minutes by bike from my home. This means that soon we’ll see them in Lake Lundsjön / Dammsjön where we swim every summer! (It used to be two lakes before the drainage was dammed, raising Dammsjön’s surface level until it joined with Lundsjön.) Welcome, beavers!

Update 18 May: The beavers are getting around, looking for more habitat. Local newspaper Nacka Värmdö Posten reports that one of them was found in the Södra länken highway tunnel complex in the small hours of last Thursday. The police came with two patrol cars, caught the beaver and set it free in nearby Lake Sickla whence it had probably come.


  1. #1 feralboy12
    April 23, 2011

    So that’s where they went.
    I’ve lived in the so-called “Beaver State” (Oregon) for some 45 years, and I’ve seen exactly two. One was dead.

  2. #2 Martin R
    April 23, 2011

    I haven’t seen the beavers themselves around here, but you can’t miss their work.

  3. #3 Birger Johansson
    April 23, 2011

    Muskrats (who actually are relatives of lemmings and voles, not rats) often settle down inside the “huts” in the beaver dams and coexist peacefully with their big neighbours.
    I personlly find both beavers and muskrats cute and cuddly, I think it is the naked tails that make people freak out.
    The surviving beavers are very shy, so you usually only see the results of their logging.
    — — — — —
    Archaeology period: “Early Maniac”

  4. #4 24fps
    April 23, 2011

    We have to put wire mesh around tree trunks that line the creek in our green spaces – if we don’t, beavers will move in and start taking them down! We also have to trap beavers and relocate them from time to time.

  5. #5 scidog
    April 24, 2011

    just minutes from downtown Minneapolis Minnesota on the Mississippi river you will see beaver chew on the trees along side the river,they seem to be coming back the canoe country of North Minnesota i have seen dams so big you can’t see over them..are the beavers in Europe related to the ones in North America with the big pond between us and everything?

  6. #6 Martin R
    April 24, 2011

    24fps, where you at?

    Scidog, all beavers are related to tulips and ants…

  7. #7 Lassi Hippeläinen
    April 24, 2011

    #5: yes, some of them are related, but it is a recent thing. In Finland the beavers were hunted to extinction in the 19th century. Later people wanted to have them back, and imported beavers from Norway and United States.

    Later biologists found out that European and American beavers are separate species (Castor fiber and C. canadensis). So now we have two stocks that probably do not interbreed.

  8. #8 blf
    April 24, 2011

    So now we have two stocks that probably do not interbreed.

    Yet. They’re busily, um, working on the problem. This is why you don’t actually see them too often…

  9. #9 Foaad Jadidi
    April 24, 2011 said beaver…tihi

  10. #10 Martin R
    April 24, 2011

    My son once said something about a mus, “mouse”, and I made a dirty joke. The little boy just sighed and said, “No Dad, not the kind you pee with, the kind that runs around on the floor and eats cheese“.

  11. #11 Andy
    April 24, 2011

    I just saw five, maybe six of them in the water at Sicklasjön in Nacka, just down from the Ältavägen road bridge, this evening. You really couldn’t have missed them! As a recent arrival in Sweden I was amazed not only how easy they were to watch in the water (just from the footpath)but also the amount of damage to trees in the vacinity. Incredible.

    And the first time I have ever seen a wild beaver,…they are like buses really!

  12. #12 Martin R
    April 24, 2011

    Aha, evenings at the Nackanäs bridge on road 260, excellent. I want to see them too!

  13. #13 Andy
    April 24, 2011

    Yep, walk towards Hammarby on the opposite side to the houses, you can’t miss the lodge.

  14. #14 Olle
    April 25, 2011

    Don’t forget the beaver colony near Storängen at Kranglan in the Eastern section of Järlasjön between the Storängen and Saltsjö-Duvnäs stations. We’ve made several trips to look for the beavers, and were lucky and saw them every time!

  15. #15 Birger Johansson
    April 26, 2011

    Speaking of stuff in lakes…
    “Sweden’s Vasa: 50 years above the waves”
    Marine archaeology. Apparently, the shipyard manager 400 years ago was the ancestor to Dilbert’s “pointy-haired boss”: he added another battery deck without asking engineers what it would do to the ship’s stability. It lasted half an hour before turning over and sinking…

  16. #16 Martin R
    April 26, 2011

    I believe the pressure to add that extra deck of cannon actually came from way higher in the hierarchy. As high as you could get without leaving the earthly plane, in fact…

  17. #17 amy robbins
    April 26, 2011

    Discovering more animals is a great thing to do. It also reminds me of a good environment. beavers are neat to watch or even learn about. It’s neat to explore their habitats and dams.

  18. #18 dalton s
    April 26, 2011

    Hey. I liked the one post about the beavers. I live near a river and i see beavers all the time so i thought the post was pretty cool. I also always see their dams all the time their dams are made up of wood and pretty much anything they can find.

  19. #19 jacob m
    April 26, 2011

    Hey like your post I live near a river so I see beavers a lot too. But sometimes they start destroying trees then it makes me and my dad mad. So if they start doing stuff like that start trapping them and moving them away of just leave them.

  20. #20 Martin R
    April 26, 2011

    You guys look like spammers without URLs. (-;

  21. #21 kayla g
    April 26, 2011

    The beavers around here arent as active and i dont see as much of their handy work down by the river. Multiple times have i seen them laying on the banks just relaxing and soaking up the sun, but i also have seen my share of them that are stuffed in someones house, im hoping that they dont slim out too much more.

  22. #22 Björn
    April 26, 2011

    The second deck was planned from the beginning as I understand. I saw a interview with the head of the Vasa museum, and and she said that the belief that the second deck was added by order of Gustav II Adolf is one of the most common misconceptions about the Vasa.

  23. #23 Isabel
    April 27, 2011

    Congratulations on your new neighbors. I’ve only seen them in cartoons.

  24. #24 Kayla G
    April 27, 2011

    Hey Martin R,
    I really think your post is interesting, I have never really seen a beaver, but they are around here. I think it would be neat for a new animal to be showing up in my environment. I do see a downside to the beavers destroying trees but we destroy their home too!

  25. #25 Abbie C
    April 27, 2011

    Hey. I loved the one post about the beavers. Some of my family lives near a river and I see beavers some of the time so I thought the post was interesting. beavers dams are made of just about anything they can find.

  26. #26 Angela H
    April 27, 2011

    I love beavers, there are some dens in the dams at my home and I try my best to not let them get ruined. I haven’t ever seen a beaver around but they must be there somewhere. You have a interesting blog and congratulations on your new animals pals.

  27. #27 dogteam
    May 4, 2011

    I live in an area called the Beaver Hills, aptly so because I’m sure the beavers outnumber the people. We have several in our (their?) pond, and are a bit of a concern because 1) of the mess they make of our trees 2) because they are VERY large and have razor sharp teeth…we have to be very watchful of our dogs. It’s not uncommon for a dog to swim out after them, thinking it’s great fun, only to be attacked and drowned. Needless to say, I don’t find them especially cuddly…. actually they can be pretty aggressive.

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