Significance to humans

The mountain beaver is significant because it is the most ancient living rodent. Its peculiar kidney is physiologically interesting because of its inability to concentrate urine. At times, the mountain beaver can be a garden pest, but they are more commonly forest pests. They cut newly planted conifer seedlings and remove bark, thus girdling stems and causing root damage on trees up to 20 years old. Such damage can be economically substantial and can diminish forest productivity for timber values.

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