In this guide, we’ll answer the question:
“What eats beavers?”
First, you’ll find a short summary of what animals eat beavers in the wild and then get a detailed list of beaver predators.
Beavers are large semiaquatic rodents in the genus Castor and are native to the Northern Hemisphere. There are two extant species of beavers: the North American beaver and the Eurasian beaver.
Beavers account for the highest number of rodents in the world and can live on both land and water, which makes these rodents hunted and eaten by several different classes in the animal kingdom. A typical lifespan for a beaver is 10 to 12 years.
What Eats Beavers?
Animals that eat beavers include bears, bobcats, coyotes, foxes, mountain lions, otters, owls, wolverines, and wolves. A beaver has many natural predators and falls prey to a variety of species.
Bears are among the most powerful animals on top of the food chain. And a beaver is no match for this apex predator.
Black bears and brown bears hunt down beavers and other prey by pushing them to fall flat on their back while biting them simultaneously. And beavers are common prey for bears because these rodents are found where bears like to fish: rivers and streams.
When you make your home in the mountains, you are likely to have an encounter with big predators cats.
Despite spending most of their time in the water, beavers still fall prey to predators such as bobcats.
A bobcat lives on land but does not mind getting its feet wet to track down beavers. Bobcats can also swim effortlessly to hunt rodents like the beaver in its aquatic habitat.
Coyotes are the primary predators of beavers and live in the same areas of the United States and Eurasia where this prey is found in abundance.
A coyote mainly attacks beavers that leave their aquatic habitat and visit the land searching for food.
Beaver predation among coyotes hits the peak during the winter when the waters are frozen and the beavers are forced to come out of their lodges in search of food.
These beaver predators either hunt as individuals or in packs. However, it is easier to take down an evasive adult beaver in a group than independently.
Beavers are a favorite treat for foxes that have an acute sense of hearing and smell, which makes this prey vulnerable to stalking.
A mountain lion hunts mostly at night and easily eats a beaver by attacking it from behind and breaking its neck.
In cases where the beaver is not eaten in one sitting, mountain lions “cache” their prey by covering the carcass with dirt and leaves before leaving. Mountain lions then come back and feed on the dead body over the course of several days.
Otters are very intelligent, strong, and agile animals that primarily feed on fish and amphibians.
However, otters like the Northern River Otters are a common predator of the North American Beaver and eat any animal it can overpower, including both adult and baby beavers.
Besides being opportunistic predators, owls are also efficient hunters and known for killing beavers.
Owls are characterized by acute hearing and sharp eyesight that allows them to hunt at any time of the day, whether in light or darkness. Plus, their silent flight also enables them to attack their prey at any level.
With sharp eyesight and hearing combined with quiet flights, it is easy for owls to attack and feed on beavers, whether on land or in water.
Wolverines are among the most fiercest predators in the animal kingdom. And unfortunately for the beaver, wolverines also love hunting both adult and baby beavers.
A wolverine is a beaver’s worst nightmare because wolverines can dig into meters of mud, ice, and frozen branches to reach the beaver lodges where this animal is typically safe from predators.
Also, wolverines can chew through frozen meat and bone with their powerful jaws and sharp teeth. So a wolverine will also eat a beaver that has been dead for quite some time.
Wolves are also among animals that eat beavers, and next to the wolverine, are the most dangerous opponent for these rodents.
Besides being faster than their prey, wolves are also known for their intelligence. A wolf injures their prey by usually biting the shoulders, flanks, or nose; however, some pack members approach the prey from the rear where they least expect it.
Either way, a wolf can quickly kill a beaver and leave it for dead or cause it to become immobile.
Mass killing and saving food for later consumption is also a common trick that wolves use in nature, especially with their bounty when food becomes scarce.
What Do Beavers Eat?
Beavers are herbivores that must eat vegetation to survive.
You can visit our other guide on what do beavers eat to find out more about what these rodents feed on for nutrition.
Animals That Eat Beavers Summary
You now know what eats beavers in the wild and which species are the top beaver predators.
As you discovered in this guide, there are about 9 animals that eat beavers in nature.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.