State Animal American Beaver
The American Beaver (Castor canadensis) was named the Oregon state animal by the 1969 Legislature. Prized for its fur, the beaver was overtrapped by early settlers and eliminated from much of its original range. Through proper management and partial protection, the beaver has been reestablished in watercourses throughout the state and remains an important economic asset. The beaver has been referred to as “nature’s engineer,” and its dam-building activities are important to natural water flow and erosion control. Oregon is known as the “Beaver State.” The beaver is mascot for Oregon State University, which calls its athletic teams the Beavers.