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image: Mountain Beaver
Illustration from Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia/Corbis
Mountain Beaver

Aplodontia rufa


First Noted by Expedition
February 26, 1806, at Fort Clatsop, Oregon.

Woodchucklike but smaller, with a short heavy body. Dark brown above; paler brown below. Blunt head; small ears and eyes; distinctive white spot below ear. Tiny tail. Length: 9.418.5 in (2447 cm); tail: 0.82.2 in (25.5 cm). Weight: 13 lb (0.51.4 kg).

Moist forests, especially near streams.

Extreme southwestern British Columbia, western Washington, western Oregon, northern California, and extreme west-central Nevada.

Endangered Status
One subspecies, the Point Arena mountain beaver, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List.

Mountain beavers are not beavers, and they do not live in a mountainous area. Their name likely came from the beaverlike habit of diverting streams into their tunnels or the occasional gnawing of bark.

Species information from enature.com

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