A Canaidan researcher, Jean Thie of EcoInformatics, has found the longest beaver dam in the world simply by exploring using Google Earth. The media has recently taken great interest in the story. The dam, located in Northern Alberta is roughly 850 meters (2790 ft) long, which outpaces the previous record holder in Three Forks, Montana, which was 652 meters (2140 ft) long. As Rachel Maddow pointed out on MSNBC (see video below), the dam is more than 1000 ft longer than Hoover Dam! This is actually not that surprising considering engineers look to place dams in narrow canyons to lessen material costs, whereas beavers build low-head dams that are intended to spread water out over as large an area as possible. All the same, the positive media interest in the story is encouraging for the industrious little beaver. For just a few of the media outlets who picked up the story you can see:
Longest Known Beaver Dam in World
The photo above is an oblique image from EcoInformatics of the dam. The best summary of the findings is on Jean Thie's EcoInformatics website. At right, you can navigate around the dam itself, or you can download this KMZ file to view the dam in Google Earth from EcoInformatics.
The image (above left) from Ecoinformatics, shows some context for the Google Map (above right).
For more information on beavers, see our Beaver Links page.
Originally posted May 7, 2010, 1:59 PM by Joseph Wheaton