Travelling through Sweden last summer, a back road through a forest took us through an unexpected landscape. It looked as though a storm had cast it’s devastation striking down trees which lay hapzardly across a water course. On closer inspection it turned out to be a piece of skillful engineering accomplished by a rather innocuous looking creature. It was my first encounter with the extraordinary feats of a beaver family’s industrious accomplishments.
Their ability to physically alter habitats by cutting down trees, building dams, digging canals and building lodges has resulted in their recognition as ecosystem engineers. The resulting change to the environment is far reaching, benefitting and altering the distribution and abundance of many organisms.