Monday, June 30, 2014

The beaver dilemma

So. This is our little pond/swamp.* There's a culvert that runs under the road to a little stream that runs fast in the spring but dries up in the summer.



This spring a beaver moved in and decided our little swamp would make a great place for him to live. So he started blocking up the culvert to raise the water level. He gathered mud and branches and rocks and got the water level so high that if we had another good rain the road would probably have flooded...a little. Nothing anyone couldn't drive through, but still. Anyway, at some point the town got wind of it and sent someone down to unblock the culvert and thereby undo all of the beaver's hard work. I felt bad for him. Or her. But guess what? The next day that beaver had that culvert half blocked up again. Talk about busy. The town had to come again, and again. I was a little worried they might resort to more drastic measures like trying to get rid of the beaver altogether. So far that hasn't happened.

But the dilemma is this: What to do about the beaver? I mean, if he manages to keep the culverts blocked and raise the water level then he'll probably build a lodge. Or she'll build a lodge. Whatever. I don't know much about beavers. But the point is if the water level is high, there will probably be a lodge.Which would be pretty cool, no? But if it's too low, there probably won't be a lodge, or at least not one that's any good. On the other hand, if the water level does get too high and the road is consistently flooded, eventually it will wash out the road, and the town will have to pay to have it fixed. Not to mention the fact that by raising the water level the beaver has changed the swamp into a pond, thereby altering the habitat.

I'm torn. I like having a beaver in our swamp. But I do wonder if he disrupted anyone by his arrival. The water level is down now despite beaver's continued efforts but the damage may already be done. Maybe some eggs were lost. We have lots of birds. And of course there's the road although admittedly that's my last concern especially since I'm not affected - until my taxes go up.

What do you think? Is there any way for us all to live on this road together or does the beaver have to go?




* It's not really ours, though my land does border it.

22 comments:

  1. I don't know. Hopefully though, it all works out.

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  2. I'm of the opinion that the beaver works with nature - all else being equal, i.e. humans have not re-done the landscape!! - and therefore all things will work out (if all else is left alone that is!). I hope I'm making sense! I do hope all works out for all creatures!! Take care
    x

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  3. He's probably already changed things in the swamp, but that is part of nature. But if he keeps flooding the road, I'd be more worried someone was going to shoot him.

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  4. I'd let my cat decide on the beaver :))
    We had swamps and lakes near to my old house, even swans and stuff...

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  5. It'd be cool to have a beaver pond to look at, but in the end I have a feeling they'll trap the animal and relocate it (if they don't just kill it). I wonder if they'd leave it alone if it didn't affect the road?

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  6. Wouldn't this be a great profession; ambassador of animals? Someone who knew just what to do and at the right time and had the resources to keep it all in balance. Sigh.

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  7. Town vs. Beaver
    Interesting to see who will win. I'm glad the town is playing nice, for now, but I don't see good things for this beaver's future. :(

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  8. The beaver probably needs to be relocated. On an aside note, you could adopt it as a kind of pet. They have a gland near their butt that produces an ooze that when mixed with their urine smells like vanilla. It's an ingredient in vanilla food additives. Does that gross you out?

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  9. I too, guess the Beaver needs to be relocated, although I love your little pond...and since nature is creating it, it would be nice to see it preserved.

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  10. Sounds like a losing situation for the beaver. Hopefully they can find him a better place to live and work.

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  11. Can Mr. or Ms. Beaver be relocated to a safer spot? I'm not suggesting you that on that task, but perhaps animal control can convince Beaver that another area is nicer.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I'm sorry. I meant "I'm not suggesting you TAKE on that task."

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  12. My parents' neighborhood (next to a large pond) had a lot of trouble with beavers cutting down trees to build dams and lodges. I think the solution is something called a flow device, although your town may have already used that?? Relocating the beavers isn't really a solution, because, first of all, beavers are territorial and they will probably die in their new environment and second, new beavers will come in and colonize the original pond anyway. Hope it works out, Marcy!

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  13. Wow. I have no idea what the right thing to do there is. Hopefully there are some wildlife experts who have some idea and have the power to make sure the right thing happens.

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  14. We have that problem in the pond behind our house. Ours are retention ponds to prevent flooding, so the damage the beaver was doing was causing neighborhood-wide problems. I believe they finally found someone in our area who catches them and takes them to a natural habitat. Many areas have resources like that...so it might be worth checking around.

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  15. Awww, I feel sorry for the beaver! I don't really know what to say, 'cause I don't have to deal with problems like this. ;)

    Cute pic :)

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  16. I think no matter what they do about the beaver, someone in your town won't like it. I do feel sorry for the beaver because he has no idea how his actions affect humans and their road. It's sad he chose to make his home too near to humans. He needs an advocate :)

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  17. wow, quite the dilemma. I have no idea but I hope you figure it out!

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  18. I think he probably needs to be (gently) relocated where he won't do any damage to the surrounding ecosystem--including humans who might have to pay extra taxes or fix the road! Poor beaver...he's just doing what comes naturally.

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  19. I kind of think that he won't be able to get anything going and will move on by himself but he is part of your natural environment no? Not an invasive species? So Beavers go where there's a habitable environment and do what Beavers do. People are the ones who get flustered over their changes not nature. Nature adapts.

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