LETHBRIDGE – Coreen Putman’s been with Lethbridge’s Helen Schuler Nature Centre for over a decade and this fall she’s noticed something odd.
“It does feel a little bit later than usual for this amount of construction activity to be happening,” said Putman, the Nature Centre’s coordinator. “The beavers have been really hard at work, trying to get some trees out into the river.”
Trees felled, just off the Oldman river. It’s the work of some very determined beavers and the timing of it is quite unusual.
“We usually see this type of activity around the end of the summer and in the early part of the fall,” Putman said.
For the busy beavers the unseasonably warm temperatures couldn’t have come at a better time. They’re way behind schedule, building what Putman believes is their winter homes. But the question remains, why have they started construction so late?
“I would take a guess that something probably happened in the area where they were at before,” Putman said. “So that caused them to have to get up and move, and they won’t survive the winter without a lodge.”
So many felled trees in one area can pull at the heartstrings. But naturalists, like Coreen, believe Beavers are an essential part of the environment.
“They’re helping actually to slow the river down, they’re helping to improve water quality, they’re helping to provide fish habitat, they’re helping to provide habitat for birds,” Putman said.
But the survival of these beavers might come down to the weather.
“It’s been nice, and they forecast a pretty nice winter,” Putman said. “So it’s hard to say, but in nature that happens. Not every individual survives through every season, through every year.”
Warm temperatures in the coming days should give the beavers a better chance to finish their home.