BEAVERS (Castor candensis)Beaver castor canadensis Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage 1994

James E. Miller Program Leader, Fish and Wildlife USDA — Extension Service Natural Resources and Rural Development Unit Washington, DC 20250

Greg K. Yarrow Extension Wildlife Specialist
Department of Aquaculture, Fisheries, and Wildlife Clemson University Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0362

Additional Beaver Control Information

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.

Fig. 6. Pine plantation in Arkansas killed in flooding caused by beavers. 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.

Editors

Scott E. Hygnstrom; Robert M. Timm; Gary E. Larson

Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage 1994 Logo

PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF WILDLIFE DAMAGE — 1994

Cooperative Extension Division Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources University of Nebraska -Lincoln

United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Animal Damage Control

Great Plains Agricultural Council Wildlife Committee

 

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