City begins catch-and-release beaver program
By: Sara Wilson
| Posted: Thursday, May 22, 2014 10:13 am
The City of Airdrie has started the catch and release of beavers in Airdrie.
Airdrie typically gets young beavers that are searching for new areas to start a colony. The national mascot comes in via Nose Creek and typically stop because of the available food source, according to the City.
“Beavers chew young trees which can kill the tree and they also build dams in Nose Creek that leads to flooding,” said Kelsey Wood, agriculture technologist, City of Airdrie.
“When beavers are spotted within the City, staff contact the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) who live trap and then release them into the wild.”
The City’s Parks department surrounds trunks of trees with wire mesh to deter beavers from destroying trees near the creek, but this is not always successful.
The city is currently working with the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation to assist with beaver relocation.
According to Wood, the number of beavers caught and released are different from year to year, but in previous years the AIWC have caught up to six and this year so far, three have been removed.
Residents can help by keeping an eye out and calling in to the City Parks Department if they see a beaver anywhere within the city so that we can catch and release them into a safe habitat, Woods said.
The AIWC, catches and releases the beavers in a safe and humane manner and relocates them to a rural location with beaver habitat. The animals caught are released together to keep family units intact, said Woods.
“We strive to protect our community’s local environment including Nose Creek and the surrounding trees, which are crucial for the riparian area’s biodiversity and aesthetic identity,” said Woods.
“The creation of dams and chewing of young trees has a negative impact on the environment.”
The beavers usually stick to Nose Creek, according to Woods, and can be found anywhere along creek runs, they may adventure into stormwater ponds and other natural areas, but generally they like to stick to the creek.
The program does run all summer and even into the fall if there are beavers present.
Residents who have questions are asked to contact AWIC at 403-946-2361 or visit aiwc.ca