Friday, August 13, 2010

The Good and Bad of Beavers

Does this look familiar?

Beavers can sometimes be a nuissance by initiating flooding in fields and forests, washing out roads and killing trees. However, they also play an important role in our ecosystem by creating wetland habitat for many animals, birds and insects.

The photos in this post illustrate damage from a beaver and one solution the landowner is trying out to keep the beaver from taking any more trees in this marshy area. At the end of the post I will write more about other solutions and sources for more information.

{The landowners noticed the grasses and reeds had been stomped down where the beaver made a path to some juicy birch trees. He took 3 small birch before the landowners decided to take action}

{There are several trees in the area of the first 3 birches. Some of them are conifers which the bever is unlikely to take. There are 2 basswoods and 1 birch which the landowners decided to protect the trees with cages. The bottom is held doen with rocks and the wire extends 2 feet up the tree to deter the beaver from starting to chew.}

{Here is one of the basswoods, also held down with rocks. If the ground is soft, it is recommended to burry the first couple inches of cage to keep the beaver from removing it.}

{Another basswood with a cage. The wire is held together around the tree with light gauge wire)

Since this landowner only has a couple of trees to protect in the immediate area where the beaver seems to be, protecting the trees with wire is a feasible solution- and seems to be working for now! Tree protection on a large scale might not be as practical. Here are some other ways to deter beavers on private land:

Wait and Enjoy!
This can be the best way to manage a beaver- there is little work and you are able to enjoy watching the natural cycle of a beaver pond and the wildlife that are dependant on the wetland environment they create. Wetlands created by beavers can provided habitat for spawning fish and a sanctuary for birds like herons and red-winged blackbirds.

The Beaver Baffler
Drain pipes imstalled through the dam with one end in the dep part of the pond and the other downstream, far away from the dam. The beaver will be unable to control the water level in the pond, become discouraged and move on.

Live trapping can be a (temporary) solution. If attractive habitat remains- another beaver will find it! Trapping must be done by a licensed trapper (unless you are a farmer). Contact your local Ministry of Natural Resources for the names of licensed trappers in your area.


What are your tactics for dealing with beaver on your land?

No comments:

Post a Comment