Whenever possible, the Agricultural Services team highlights alternative beaver management strategies that can help mitigate these issues and foster an environment of human-wildlife coexistence. One such strategy was a recent pilot project using the technique of applying a textural repellent to discourage beavers from chewing and felling trees.
The pilot project was undertaken in Calgary's Fish Creek Provincial Park by a group called Putting Beavers to Work for Watershed Resiliency and Restoration; a partnership between the Miistakis Institute and Cows and Fish Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society that aims to enhance the coexistence of humans and beavers. The team applied a latex paint and sand mixture from the base of the tree to 4' in height up the trunk. The ratio of 20 ounces of sand per gallon of paint was used. Saplings under six inches in height were left unpainted.
Please visit the Putting Beavers to Work Website for methodology and results (coming in winter 2020/21).
Alternate Mitigation Strategies
The County strives to have many “tools in the toolbox” when managing beavers, including a tail bounty program; a full-time problem wildlife officer; and equipment dedicated to removing dams. The County also works with landowners who wish to keep beavers on their property.
Ecosystems are complex and require adaptive management strategies to address competing land use decisions and a wide variety of opinions from the public. The County is committed to further exploring options for living alongside beavers for millennia to come. Visit LSAC.ca/beavers to learn more about the County's multi-tiered beaver mitigation program.