Anthony Bianco

See Beaver Dams – In South America

Beaver Dams – Where They Shouldn’t Be!

Beaver Dams. They’re amazing feats of engineering.  But not in a foreign environment.

Like Australia, Argentina hasn’t learnt the lesson of not deliberately introducing animals from other continents that might cause an environmental problem.

Check out the photo below – it’s of a Beaver Dam.  It looks like any other Beaver Dam within North America.  However, this Beaver Dam is located in the Tierra del Fuego region of Argentina, right at the southernmost tip of South America, in a National Park!

beaver dam 2 1024x651 argentina  photo

However, Beavers are a North American species!

Beavers were brought to Tierra del Fuego as a potential source of income via their pelts, but, with no predators and no competition, had become completely feral.

This was probably because most people preferred buying a leather jacket made from high quality bovine carcass caused by Argentina’s meat addiction (See Don’t Cry For Meat Argentina), than one made from a somewhat-unmarketable feral Beaver.

Hence, the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego inherited a large network of Beaver Dams.  Whilst Beaver Dams are an impressive natural engineering feat of stick inter-twining from the animal kingdom, the Beavers had successfully drowned large areas of trees resulting in a juxtaposition of lush green, wind-blown sub-Antarctic vegetation, dissected by relatively barren lakes of foliage-free tree stumps.

So, these ecological stuff ups are pretty universal then!

More Beaver Dam Stuff

You can learn more about how Beavers build their damns from this Discovery Channel Feature – Beavers: Dam It All Anyway, and The Beaver: Natural History of a Wetlands Engineer.

Other things to do in Argentina – check out the tarnished reputation of their banks, which is worse than those of US banks in this current Global Finanical Crisis.

One day, I hope to see Beaver Dams in their natural environment in North America.

 argentina  photo

About Anthony The Travel Tart

The Travel Tart writes about the funny, offbeat and weird aspects of world travel today. Travel wasn't meant to be taken too seriously! Check out ways to say hi below or sign up for his silly newsletter!

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9 Responses to See Beaver Dams – In South America

  1. 1002things says:

    Hah! Beavers are so crazy. I never thought they would be at the Southern most tip of the Americas.

    1002things’s last blog post..A Minor Change in Plans

  2. Paul J says:

    Haha, that’s pretty amazing. Especially since they are at the very southernmost point of South America. I’ve never heard of that before even though I love South America and have my own South America Travel blog.

    Great site!

    • anthony says:

      Hi Paul, thanks for the comment. Yes, I was quite surprised to see Beaver Dams in South America – impressive, but tragic at the same time!

  3. Euroangel says:

    i wish you visit this place one day! seems interesting.. added you too in BC..thanks for the add!

  4. Ruby says:

    you seems to travel a lot! How I wish I could also! very interesting places here!

  5. The pictures of info of this spot looks AMAZING, I would really like to go there. How long should I plan my travel in order to see more or less all the touristy spots there?

  6. Beavers are such clever animals and it would be great to see how intricate and genius these dams are.

    It’s very surprising to hear that the photo was taken in South America as I too thought that the beaver’s habitat was restricted to North America.

    It just goes to show what an incredible animal the beaver is and thank you to Anthony for another great article.

  7. Over my life, living in Canada, I have probably gotten to see more beavers than the average person. However, each time I get the privilege of experiencing another beaver, or even just a damn, they continue to amaze me. They really are a wonderful species.

  8. Ross says:

    Interesting. I saw the beaver dams down in Tierre del Fuego and saw how the whole place was barren tree stumps but it never occurred to me that they were introduced and this shouldnt be happening. The size of the area that goes barren is impressive (or devastating as the case may be)

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