The Chinese and Russian economies are weak, so people there have stopped buying as much fur – which means that the price of a beaver pelt has fallen from the mid-40-dollars to barely 10 bucks. As any good capitalist would predict, this means fewer people are trapping beavers for their pelts, which means more beavers are living and reproducing, which means more beaver dams are being built in places that are inconvenient to humans – as NH Public Radio reports in a nicely done piece that includes this interesting tidbit:

Kaska’s not sure how many beavers are in this pond. He should be able to tell once he catches one—by looking at its tail. Beavers are territorial: they fight by biting each others’ tails. “If tomorrow I find a beaver in one of my traps that has bite marks out of his tail, that will tell me I have two different family units in this area. Maybe I’ve got the stranger; maybe I’ve got the resident. But that tells me that I maybe have more.”

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