Mystery at the Lost Lagoon

Stanley Park beaver mystery
The Stanley Park Ecology Society has a whodunit to solve: someone keeps removing wire wrapping from trees and tossing it in a pond.

According to the CBC, the society has wrapped several trees around Lost Lagoon (a perfect name for a mystery) to protect them from beavers – a common practice, and one that APFA regularly assists municipalities and landowners with. But someone is removing the wrapping and tossing it into the Lost Lagoon (still a great name).

"My suspicion is it's probably… someone whose heart is in the right place and maybe just doesn't understand our program," Brian Titaro, a conservation technician told the CBC.

The society allows numerous trees to grow and be taken down by beavers for damming activities and foodstuffs. The larger, older trees are protected as they provide essential habitat for other wildlife.

The Stanley Park Ecology Society does a fantastic job of balancing the needs of the numerous species that call the park home – from coyotes to beavers to songbirds. Sometimes it requires a hands-off approach, such as allowing beavers to take down trees of specific location or species to fulfill their needs. Other times it means using non-lethal control measures to prevent conflict, such as tree-wrapping, flow devices or coyote hazing techniques.

Catching the tree-dewrapper red-handed may not be in the cards, but perhaps greater education could be used. Small signs indicating what some of the devices are for – tree wrapping, for instance, looks rather odd to some visitors – could be enough to dissuade this individual from further damaging the park’s efforts. It’s certainly something APFA will consider as we work on similar projects across the country.

But it should also be noted that this individual’s efforts could be even more harmful than it appears: the wire mesh could be dangerous to the beavers themselves or other life in the pond.

We love the work the Stanley Park Ecology Society does – we’ve even made a few educational videos with them – and hope they’re able to find a resolution to this mystery.

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