Right now, as you read this, a family of beavers is being destroyed. Somewhere in Canada, a trap is set and waiting for a mother, father, grandparent, son, or daughter to trigger it. The trap will feel no regret and no sorrow for the animal it kills.
But you will. And you can make a difference. That’s why today we’re asking you to help us protect beaver families by donating to our Living With Wildlife: Beavers campaign. Anything from $5 (the cost of a single latte) can make a difference in saving lives and changing the future of Canada. Our goal is to raise $5,000 to help plan out our spring, summer, and fall portions of this campaign, as well as give us a foundation to move forward into 2017 and beyond.
Beavers are persecuted for two primary reasons in Canada – the fur trade and “management” of populations to prevent conflict. Despite the growing body of scientific evidence that shows beaver populations manage themselves, create wetlands that are vital to numerous at-risk and endangered species, and even help clean water and prevent droughts, they are still killed.
Many municipalities and landowners, facing very real concern of flooding or infrastructure damage from beaver activity, turn to provincial governments for assistance. Those governments simply provide a list of trappers. But there is another, better solution – one that keeps the beavers and their families intact, and still protects human infrastructure.
Flow devices can be built at a relatively low cost ($400-$600 per device, each lasting as long as 10 years, as compared to seasonal or per head fees to a trapper). Exclusion fences can be put in place where municipalities are concerned that beavers may attempt to dam – such as culverts or bridges. And if landowners are facing existing dams that are causing water levels to drop (or rise), a pond leveller can fix the problem. Trees can also be protected with simple mesh wrapping of a specific grade and quality.
The Fur-Bearers have provided these solutions to over a dozen municipalities and landowners in recent years, as well as training staff, educating communities, and even assisting in the development of modernized policies. But the cost of running such a campaign can be high – travel to the site (we’ve been right across Canada), tools and safety equipment, and the raw materials to build each device. This year we’re also hoping to begin training sessions for individuals (including former trappers) who are interested in building a business out of this trade.
Please give as much as you can, and help us create a Canada where co-existence is treasured as much as our heritage.