Did you know that New York has an official state animal? Before you peak ahead, take a guess at what it is? I'll be honest, this furry lumberjack with a big flat tail wasn't in my top ten guesses.

If you said that New York’s official animal is the beaver, you are right and you must have cheated.

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At one time, beavers were the kings of the fur trade and their pelts were very popular in Europe. It eventually found its way into the United States and all the hunting and trapping took a toll. The beaver population went from 60 million to almost none.

A Beaver Comeback

The good news is that some responsible people knew they needed to protect the beaver. In the early 1900s, the beaver population took off when they were reintroduced to the Adirondacks.

The Empire State put a big ban on trapping, giving beavers a chance to make its comeback....And boy, did they! The beaver population took off and made for a "beaverful" comeback story!

Nature's Master Builders

Beavers are the construction crew of the animal world. These little mammals build dams across streams and end up making their own private little pond. These ponds make a comfy home for the beavers and a place for other critters to thrive.

Ecosystem MVPs

The watery wonderland that they create also helps other animals including fish, ducks, muskrats, moose, and even deer. The water bodies created by the beaver dams become bustling bodies of biodiversity. It's like one big nature party hosted by the beavers!

Love-Hate Relationship

The beaver can be good for the ecosystem, but it can also be a thorn in the human sides. Flooding, gnawing on trees, and eating away the shrubs can be a little bit of a problem.

The good news is that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is on the case. They keep their eyes open and keep a good beaver-human balance, making sure that everyone can share the same neighborhood.

Quiz: Do you know your state insect?

Stacker has used a variety of sources to compile a list of the official state insect(s) of each U.S. state, as well as their unique characteristics. Read on to see if you can guess which insect(s) represent your state. 

Gallery Credit: Andrew Vale

The 10 Most Invasive Animals & Insects in New York State

There's nothing worse than an unwanted guest.

Gallery Credit: Will Phillips

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