Reproductive biology

In the central portion of the mountain beaver's range, males are in breeding condition from January through March, whereas most females are in estrus during mid-February. Only females two years or older breed and, after a 28- to 30-day gestation period, parturition occurs in the nest chamber from

A young mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa) playing dead on the lawn of the Olympic Penninsula, Washington, USA. (Photo by Janis Burger. Bruce Coleman, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

late March through early April. Only one litter is produced per year and, although females have three pairs of mammae, typically between two to three young are born, though litter size can vary up to six. Young are weaned at 6-8 weeks old and, a week or two later, they leave the nest chamber to begin surface activities.

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