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Mountain Beaver: Aplodontidae

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Mountain Beavers And PeopleGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS

Mountain beavers are found in North America along the Pacific Coast. They live in southwestern British Columbia to northwestern California, in certain coastal areas as far south as San Francisco Bay, and in the Sierra Nevada of eastern California.

Mountain beavers generally live in moist forests, especially near streams, which are dense with herbs and shrubs. They are found on mountains with deciduous forest to areas at sea level, and also in coniferous forests. Mountain beavers must live in places with deep soils so that they can burrow (dig holes or tunnels).

Mountain beavers are herbivores (plant-eaters) and feed on almost any plant material. These animals eat leaves, branches, bark, and twigs. They also drink large amounts of water.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists the mountain beaver as Near Threatened, not currently threatened, but could become so. Two of the seven subspecies of mountain beavers are listed as Vulnerable (facing a high risk of extinction in the wild) by the IUCN.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Clutton-Brock, Juliet, and Don E. Wilson, eds. Smithsonian Handbooks: Mammals. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2002.

Macdonald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File Publications, 1984.

Nowak, Ronald M. "Sewellel or Mountain Beaver." Walker's Mammals of the World 5.1 Online. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/walkers_mammals_of_the_world/rodentia/rodentia.aplodontidae.aplodontia.html (accessed on May 3, 2004).

Periodicals:

Drew, Lisa. "Creatures that Time Forgot." National Wildlife (June– July, 2002).

Valadka, Andrius. "Meet One of Nature's Survivors: The Mountain Beaver (Aplodontia rufa) is the World's Oldest Living Rodent." Nature Canada (Summer 1988): 6–7.

Web sites:

Newell, T. "Aplodontia rufa." Animal Diversity Web. http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Aplodontia_rufa.html (accessed on May 17, 2004).

Altig, Ron. "Mountain Beaver: Aplodontia rufa." Enature.com. http://www.enature.com/fieldguide/showSpeciesSH.asp?curGroupID=5&shapeID=1038&curPageNum=1&recnum=MA0073 (accessed on May 15, 2004).

Landes, Charles. "The Mountain Beaver (Aplodontia." Mount Rainier Nature News Notes (Nature Notes). http://www.nps.gov/mora/notes/vol3-3a.htm (accessed on May 15, 2004).

"Lewis and Clark Expedition: Scientific Encounters." National Park Service. http://www.cr.nps.gov/nr/travel/lewisandclark/encounters.htm (accessed on May 13, 2004).

"Mountain Beaver." American Zoo. http://www.americazoo.com/goto/index/mammals/139.htm (accessed on May 13, 2004).

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammals