Busy Beavers Building, Part 1

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This post courtesy BBC Earth. For more wildlife news, find BBC Earth on Facebook and Posterous.

It’s at this time of year when many of us batten down the hatches and prepare for the chilly months ahead! Pulling shut the windows and doors, building a roaring fire and snuggling up under our coziest of blankets is at the top of our priority list. But how does that compare with the animal kingdom?

Beavers, unlike many of their closest kin which include marmots and squirrels, do not hibernate and live up to their name, keeping busy and working hard to make sure that their winter lodges, much like our homes, are solid, secure and most of all, full of seasonal essentials such as a fully stocked larder and a tailor-made chimney!

Yet to say that beavers are masters of their trade is a huge understatement! Alongside humans, beavers do more to mould and shape their landscape than any other animal. Not only do they fell trees in strategic locations for specific purposes of their own, but they are also responsible for engineering many woodland ponds which bring new life to other animals, and plants alike.

In this first video of our beaver series, we see our family working flat out to prepare their pond for the Wyoming winter!

Return here to see what happens next. Will the dam spring a leak? Will the pond be deep enough? And who invited the muskrats? All will be revealed here soon.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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