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National Wildlife Control Training Program vol. 1.

Mountain Beaver Control

Scientific Name: Aplodontia rufaMountain beaver Aplondia rufa



  • Rodent, like a woodchuck, but smaller with a short heavy body and tiny tail
  • Can climb
  • Does Not Hibernate
  • Nocturnal


  • Extensive burrows in coniferous forests of Washington, Oregon and Northern California. These may be 1/2 to 6 feet deep with 10 to 30 holes. Some cave-ins occur with shallow burrows.
  • Angular, rough cuts are made on stems 1/4 to 3/4 inches in diameter.


  • Stems and roots of coniferous forest trees in Northwest U.S. One study showed $150.00 per acre losses on Douglas-fir forest land. Damage occurs on 300,000 acres of commercial forest land.
  • Bark removed at base of young trees (six-inch or less diameter).
  • Young trees severed near ground or a several feet up. This usually occurs winter or late spring. Branches are cut a few inches from the trunk. This sometimes occurs up to an eight-foot height.


Mountain beaver are usually considered a pest species by state agencies.

Control Methods

Habitat Modification

  • Deep tilling
  • Burning
  • Exclusion for young seedlings


  • Treat cull seedlings with repellent and place in active beaver burrows to condition animals pre-application. BGR-P may be registered in Washington and Oregon.


  • Body grip traps(as in Conibear #110) set just prior to tree planting within main burrows
  • Double door box traps with at least a 6 in X 6 in opening can be set in main burrows. These may be baited with common local foods and covered against weather. 



  • Some water diversion and localized flooding may occur due to their damage.

Living with Mountain Beavers

Living With Wildlife (mountain beavers)--Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife

Aplodontia rufa (mountain beaver)--University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

University Publications

Controlling Mountain Beaver in Forest Plantations Mountain beaver--Oregon State Univ.

Resources on Mammalian Damage to Forests---National Wildlife Research Center


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