Are Beavers Dangerous?
Beavers are typically timid and shy animals that prefer to remain away from humans in the security of the water. They will slap their tails on the water to try to frighten enemies away and alert family members to potential danger. However, to protect their home territories they may attack an unrelated beaver or a perceived predator swimming in their pond.
Why Not Just Kill Them?
Beavers are a Keystone species which means that the environmental changes they cause have far reaching and important benefits for biodiversity and our environment. Beaver dams also provide many direct benefits to humans. See “What Good Are Beavers?” Flow devices offer the opportunity to resolve most human-beaver flooding conflicts nonlethally, in the most cost-effective, long-term, environmentally friendly, and humane manner. Most trees can be protected from beaver chewing. See Tree Protection. Coexisting with beavers whenever possible is in everyone’s best interest.
What is a Flow Device?
A flow device is a system that either prevents or controls beaver damming activity to eliminate beaver-related flooding problems. It may be a specially designed fence system to protect a road culvert, and/or a Pond Leveler pipe system to control the water level in a beaver pond. (See Road Protection, Pond Level Control, and Self-Help DVD)
Why Use a Flow Device?
Flow devices offer year-round protection from property damage. They protect human health and safety, save time, save money, and function for many years. In addition, a flow device allows beavers to create and maintain our ecologically valuable wetlands. They are proven to be long term solutions to beaver related conflicts that benefit both man and the environment. In our experience most beaver problems can be solved with flow devices in a long-term, cost-effective manner. (See Beaver Solutions Studies, and Self-Help DVD).
How Do Flow-Devices Work?
Road culverts are very common damming sites resulting in flooded roads. To a beaver a roadbed with a culvert pipe looks like a dam with a hole in it. Properly designed Culvert Protective Fences decrease the stimulus for beaver damming and prevent beavers from blocking the road culvert. (See Road Protection).
When beavers build free-standing dams but the water level threatens human interests, beaver dam pipes such as the Flexible Pond Leveler can be very effective. Beavers are stimulated to build their dams by the sound or feel of running water. A well-designed Pond Leveler pipe prevents beavers from detecting the flow of water into the pipe so it remains unblocked. This creates a permanent leak in the beaver dam and controls the pond at a safe level. (See Self-Help DVD).
Are Flow Devices High-Maintenance?
Any manmade device exposed to the elements requires some maintenance. While our flow devices are designed to be very low maintenance, the little maintenance that is required is important.
Our Flexible Pond Leveler pipes should be inspected each spring for winter ice, beaver or other damage or if the pond level ever rises unexpectedly. Culvert Protective Fences should be inspected three to four times a year to remove any accumulated stream debris from the fence. Typically this is done after autumn leaves, spring runoff, and large debris-producing storms. This maintenance can be done by one person and usually takes less than fifteen minutes per cleaning. When this routine maintenance is performed as recommended, flow devices should remain effective for many years.
Because we are committed to the success of our installations, Beaver Solutions™ offers an optional maintenance plan at a very low-cost.
Why Not Relocate the Beavers?
Here in Massachusetts and many other states it is against the law to relocate wildlife. This is because many animals that are removed from their home areas (including beavers who are very territorial), suffer and die. In addition, relocating wildlife can just transfer the problem to someone else's property and can contribute to the spread of wildlife disease. When relocation is not an option any trapped beaver should be killed in a humane manner.
What About Trapping?
Beaver Solutions™ offers licensed beaver trapping services in MA. Trapping to remove all the problematic beavers is usually necessary in areas where no beaver damming can be tolerated. However, beaver trapping has drawbacks which include: the beavers often must be killed rather than relocated, trapping is usually only a short term solution as new beavers will recolonize the habitat, and the elimination of the beaver colony results in degradation of the beaver dam and the loss of the valuable wetland habitat. (See Beavers ).
Are permits needed in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, no permit is necessary for a state licensed trapper to trap beaver during trapping season which starts November 1st and ends April 15th each year provided live catch traps are used. If a beaver-related threat to human property, health or safety exists, at any time during the year the local Board of Health can issue a permit to breach the dam, install a flow device, and/or trap the beaver. When this permit is issued by the Board of Health, the local Conservation Agent must review any plan to breach the dam or install a flow device. Their job is to ensure that any negative impact to the wetland resource is minimized. For additional information regarding these regulations see the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife website.