October 4, 2023

Airdrie seeks options as beavers destroy bushes, threaten pets

Airdrie seeks options as beavers destroy bushes, threaten pets

The beavers have precipitated hundreds of {dollars} in harm to personal and metropolis property and have acted aggressively in direction of people and pets

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The Metropolis of Airdrie has determined to hunt out recommendation on the best way to higher handle beaver colonies amid backlash from owners and a wildlife protecting group.

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The neighbourhood of Waterstone, which runs alongside the jap banks of Nostril Creek, has been residence to a beaver colony since a minimum of 2020. Town says the beavers have precipitated hundreds of {dollars} in harm to personal and metropolis property, and have acted aggressively towards people and pets.

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In response, the town has trapped and destroyed two beavers and plan to do the identical to the remaining beaver within the colony.

Robin Contos, a Waterstone resident and creator of a Change.org petition to Save The Nostril Creek Beavers, which has garnered greater than 10,000 signatures, stated the town didn’t exhaust administration efforts earlier than deciding to destroy the beavers.

“We’re in 2022. I don’t assume that killing wild animals for comfort is the reply,” she stated.

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“I stay proper by the dam and the beavers have solely knocked over one tree this summer season . . . and the wiring across the different ones are very flimsy. They’re (secured) with a few zip ties . . . Somewhat child might get by means of that, so clearly a beaver might.”

Town’s present administration technique has concerned overlaying the trunks of mature bushes with mesh wiring that’s then anchored into the bottom. In accordance with Eugene Lund, supervisor of public works and parks operations on the Metropolis of Airdrie, the method has not been profitable.

“The beavers are nonetheless engaged on a few of these preventive measures to get by means of them to take the bushes down . . . Moreover, as a result of the beavers are utilizing these bushes as a meals supply, they’re in fact in search of different alternatives as nicely, and consequently have been transferring up onto non-public property and inflicting some harm to bushes, bushes and shrubs,” he stated.

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A beaver munches foliage in Airdrie’s Waterstone neighbourhood.
A beaver munches foliage in Airdrie’s Waterstone neighbourhood. Picture provided by Purple Robin Images

Lund stated the environmental evaluation, which is slated for completion in spring 2023, will assist the town decide if it’s sustainable to have an energetic beaver inhabitants within the Waterstone space.

Whereas Contos welcomes bringing an professional in to evaluate the scenario, she questions how goal the findings can be.

“So many habitats have been destroyed by people and I believe when we’ve got an opportunity to permit an animal to stay in a pure habitat, that’s the best-case situation,” she stated. “If these measures are carried out correctly, the beavers might stay right here. Ultimately, they’re simply animals they usually’re doing what their intuition tells them, they’re not attempting to be harmful . . . I believe it’s our accountability to accommodate them.”

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At an early October metropolis council assembly, mayor and council learn a letter submitted by Lesley Fox, government director of the Fur-Bearers, a Canadian wildlife safety company.

We implore the Metropolis of Airdrie to prioritize non-lethal options akin to stream gadgets and exclusion fencing to guard waterways, culverts and bushes. When correctly put in, these strategies are cost-effective, long-lasting and require little upkeep. They’re additionally scientifically confirmed and utilized in cities throughout North America,” the letter acknowledged.

In a March 2021 report revealed by the Miistakis Institute, researchers famous that whereas beavers are useful for a lot of environments, they will also be troublemakers.

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“Beavers have been acknowledged as vital for local weather resiliency as they facilitate groundwater storage, enhance stream permanence, improve water high quality, mitigate floods, create terrestrial and aquatic habitat, amongst myriad advantages. Regardless of this, beavers may also trigger undesirable flooding, harm infrastructure, incur upkeep prices and take away bushes,” the report learn.

In accordance with the town, Alberta Fish and Wildlife beneficial towards relocating the beavers as a result of they “are territorial and compete for meals and sources with different animals within the space. This competitors typically results in relocated animals struggling unnecessarily. Relocation may also unfold illness to different waterways.”

Lund stated the town is open to the findings of the environmental evaluation and is keen to take different steps sooner or later.

“By means of this evaluation we wish to higher perceive if the inhabitants is sustainable in that space after which, relying on what that suggestion is, take a look at what we have to do to make sure that this isn’t an ongoing challenge.”

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