We have 'em in southwest Arkansas. Mr.Wrekker is trying to get them critters to move out his creek, it’s a war that’s been going on for 2 years now. So far, the beavers are winning. Isn’t there a Beaver lake up in Arkansas, somewhere?
Beaver are found in every state of the union except Hawaii. If there’s water, beaver will live there and probably have in the past. They aren’t speedy reproducers, but they have about 3 kits a year, are sexually mature at age 2 and have about a 10-15 year reproductive window. so they can recolonize a decent sized area within a few decades if left to their own devices with suitable habitat. Since you just recently saw it, it’s likely that you’re seeing a two year old that is heading off on his own looking for a new territory. Beavers are crazy territorial, so in late summer, the two year olds are on the move looking for places without other beaver, so you tend to see them in strange places until they stake their claim.
We have 'em here in Kansas. There are some wetlands near where I live and I see lots of beaver huts (houses? lodges?) when I drive past. My granddaughter and I saw one swimming in a small lake in a nearby park not too long ago.
Here’s one that surprises me: I’ve noticed a few dead armadillos in Missouri the last couple times we’ve driven through. I guess I just think of them as a Texas thing and don’t expect to see them this far north.
Armadillos (9 banded ones anyway) have seriously expanded their range. They used to be isolated south of the Rio Grande. In the late 19th century, the river was lowered for irrigation and they were able to cross. Once across, fire suppression, conversion of land to farmland, predator suppression and lack of hunting by now displaced Native American tribes basically turned the US into the Garden of Eden for them. They’ve been steadily advancing northward ever since. It’s projected that sooner or later they’ll make it as far north as Boston, especially if the climate continues to warm. I believe that the farthest north they have made it currently is above I-80 in Nebraska and scientists think that the Dakotas have too harsh of winters, so that’s probably about where their range will stop in the West. The East though is still prime territory for them. North Carolina has instituted hunting and is trying to keep them at bay with some success, but the writing is on the wall. They’ve already colonized most of Tennessee and they’ll jjust bypass North Carolina into Virginia. The best hope for the southern Northeast and mid-Atlantic is that the Central Appalachians with their rough winters and high predator density will cut them off and North Carolina can hold the line through hunting and eradication efforts, but I wouldn’t bet on it. I would guess if you’re under 25, you’ll see armadillos in Central Park in your lifetime. The good news is that they aren’t the worst quasi-invasives in the world, their biggest impact is on competing insectivores, so expect fewer skunks and opossums. They can put a pretty big hurt on ground nesting birds, so if you love grouse, sorry for your luck, but except for that they are mostly harmless.
That’s why they have expanded. Non-Native American hunters rarely targeted them, except during the Depression. DNR officials are trying to encourage it now. Supposedly they taste like pork, but there’s no cultural cuisine that features them in the north, so who knows if that will take off.
I have seen Armadillos my whole life. Don’t they carry leprosy or something?
And beaver houses are called ‘dams’, they flood out creeks and ponds. Thats the problem when they are on private land. Around here farmers will blow the dams up. To encourage them to move on. Farmers mostly. Mr.Wrekker is not a farmer but he loves his creek. But, explosives are not his style. He doesnt want anyone to die, just relocate.