As a “keystone species,” beavers provide vital habitat for many plants and animals, including threatened and endangered species. Beavers also offer wonderful wildlife watching opportunities.
The New Hampshire Animal Rights League encourages individuals and organizations — as well as businesses and towns — experiencing problems with beavers to seek solutions for peaceful co-existence, rather than resorting to trapping.
Wildlife control operators hired to trap beavers are likely to assure a property owner that the animal will die instantly and “humanely.” This is disingenuous because there is no guarantee it will happen that way, and even in the best of circumstances death is not instant.
Living with beavers may require more up-front effort and expense than trapping, but a beaver management system is a long-term solution. Trapping only removes the current beavers. If the habitat is attractive, it’s likely another beaver family will move in. Removing adults also risks leaving dependent youngsters behind; young beavers stay with their parents for two years.
NHARL offers matching grants of up to $750 to individuals, organizations, businesses, and municipalities looking to install non-lethal solutions for managing beavers in New Hampshire. (For those in Massachusetts, the MSPCA offers funding for installing flow devices.)
To date, NHARL has awarded more than $7,000 in grants to individuals and organizations seeking peaceful co-existence with beavers.
Humane Beaver Management Experts
There are a number of companies that can help you find a way to peacefully co-exist with beavers:
Be sure to talk to your installer about the importance of keeping the water level as high as possible. If the water level gets too low, beavers may panic and work harder to undo the installation. In winter, water that is too shallow can freeze solid. Maintaining high water also preserves the habitat for all the other animals (and plants) who have come to depend on it.
To apply for a grant, click below. Applications can be submitted any time of year.
Time-lapse video of Mike Callahan of Beaver Solutions installing a culvert protection cage.
How Beavers Build Dams — Leave It to Beavers (PBS video)
A family of beavers, snug inside their lodge (video by Jeff Hogan)
- The Beaver Institute – Everything you’d ever want to know about beavers
- Beavers: Wetlands & Wildlife (BWW) – Information and studies about solutions for co-existing with beavers
- Welcoming nature’s best architects: When beavers return, habitats flourish – Article by Nancy Lawson