Woody Vegetation As Food Items For South Carolina Coastal Plain Beaver

Feeding strategies of the beaver (Castor canadensis) were investigated on the Savannah River Plant in the Upper Coastal Plain region of South Carolina. Three beaver colonies. comprising 4 ponds, were selected. Feeding by beavers upon woody vegetation was monitored monthly. Sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) was the most important woody species for the beaver. Stems 2.5 - 5.0 cm diameter stump high and stems located within the water were preferentially selected. Selection of woody vegetation decreased during spring and summer months and increased during winter months. One pond was deserted apparently because of a shortage of preferred food items within the normal foraging area.

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