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BEAVER

Damage and Damage Identification

The habitat modification by beavers, caused primarily by dam building, is often beneficial to fish, furbearers, reptiles, amphibians, waterfowl, and shorebirds. However, when this modification comes in conflict with human objectives, the impact of damage may far outweigh the benefits.

Most of the damage caused by beavers is a result of dam building, bank burrowing, tree cutting, or flooding. Some southeastern states where beaver damage is extensive have estimated the cost at $3 million to $5 million dollars annually for timber loss; crop losses; roads, dwellings, and flooded property; and other damage. In some states, tracts of bottomland hardwood timber up to several thousand acres (ha) in size may be lost because of beaver. Some unusual cases observed include state highways flooded because of beaver ponds, reservoir dams destroyed by bank den burrows collapsing, and train derailments caused by continued flooding and burrowing. Housing developments have been threatened by beaver dam flooding, and thousands of acres (ha) of cropland and young pine plantations have been flooded by beaver dams (Fig. 6). Road ditches, drain pipes, and culverts have been stopped up so badly that they had to be dynamited out and replaced. Some bridges have been destroyed because of beaver dam-building activity. In addition, beavers threaten human health by contaminating water supplies with Giardia.

Identifying beaver damage generally is not difficult. Signs include dams; dammed-up culverts, bridges, or drain pipes resulting in flooded lands, timber, roads, and crops; cut-down or girdled trees and crops; lodges and burrows in ponds, reservoir levees, and dams. In large watersheds, it may be difficult to locate bank dens. However, the limbs, cuttings, and debris around such areas as well as dams along tributaries usually help pinpoint the area.

Trapping

The use of traps in most situations where beavers are causing damage is the most effective, practical, and environmentally safe method of control. The effectiveness of any type of trap for beaver control is dependent on the trapper’s knowledge of beaver habits, food preferences, ability to read beaver signs, use of the proper trap, and trap placement. A good trapper with a dozen traps can generally trap all the beavers in a given pond (behind one dam) in a week of trap nights. Obviously in a large watershed with several colonies, more trapping effort will be required. Most anyone with trapping experience and some outdoor “savvy” can become an effective beaver trapper in a short time. In an area where beavers are common and have not been exposed to trapping, anyone experienced in trapping can expect good success. Additional expertise and improved techniques will be gained through experience.

A variety of trapping methods and types of traps are effective for beavers, depending on the situation. Fish and wildlife agency regulations vary from state to state. Some types of traps and trapping methods, although effective and legal in some states, may be prohibited by law in other states. Individual state regulations must be reviewed annually before beginning a trapping program.

Product   SKU   Description   Price    
Pro Series Bailey Beaver Live Animal Trap
In Stock
801 Model 801 fastens securely around the beaver as it swims over the trap and trips the T-bar. The beaver is trapped safely and securely inside the trap. Half of the beavers body remains in the water, while half of the beavers body stays out of the water
$426.82
$378.98
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