What fates await beavers in Manitoba?

A $1 million, four-year plan to manage beavers is on the way from the Manitoba government – but what will it mean for nature’s ultimate engineers?

The funding was announced on Friday by government officials as a program that will “connect farmers and landowners with resources to help deal with these challenging situations” the Portage Online reported.

The three-point outline provided by officials notes that the program will offer information on “humane trapping” options, fact sheets on “managing beaver populations” and, surprisingly “assistance for non-lethal management techniques including devices known as beaver deceivers or pond levellers.”

It’s a positive sign that co-existence methods are being included in this plan. But the simple statement that a “beaver removal incentive” will be included is disheartening.

Beavers are an essential species in our country. Millions are killed pointlessly every year because of misinformation about their roles in ecosystems and the ease with which their habitat and actions can be managed through co-existence.

APFA is spending a week in Ontario, implementing co-existence models for communities and meeting with municipalities to teach them about these methods. You can help by contributing to our campaign.

You can also help by contacting your MLA in Manitoba and telling them you want to see co-existence methods, not lethal options, pursued with this plan. Change is always possible – but only if we ask for it.

Sample letter:

Dear Member (name),

I am pleased to see that the government is availing information about non-lethal measures for landowners concerned about beavers. However, it is distressing that cruel, scientifically-unfounded methods such as lethal trapping and ‘beaver removal incentives’ are being included in this plan.

As a voting resident of Manitoba, I ask that you, as my representative, take action to ensure that measures to protect beaver families, natural eco-systems and the future of our environment is protected against illogical and cruel actions.

Sincerely,

(your name and address)

Photo by Critter Care Wildlife Society

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