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Beaver management work gets underway at Griffith Woods

Last Updated Sep 22, 2016 at 8:17 pm MST

The City of Calgary.

Wildlife advocates, conservationists, and city workers got a first hand look at some of the beaver management tools Thursday that the city has at its disposal.

They were taught methods for controlling water levels in dammed areas and preventing water outflows from being blocked.

It’s become more of a pressing issue for the city as of late given the surge in the beaver population since the flood.

City officials say urban beavers have presented some unique challenges because the urban setting and no natural predators.

Calgary Parks Ecologist Tanya Hope says their numbers can grow quickly and cause damage to property and infrastructure.

“We sometimes need to take measures to prevent damage and the tools we are learning today will be valuable to us,” said Hope. “We wanted the staff to learn how to use these methods for their organizations.”

Left to right: Adrian Nelson, The Fur-Bearers and Tanya Hope, Calgary Parks ecologist standing by an inclusion fence built by workshop participants.

In Calgary they had a beaver that was building a dam that was causing a pathway to flood so they put a pond leveller in allowing the water to go through so things could return to normal.

“At the city of Calgary, we’re working on balancing the ecosystem. They’re an important part and help to filter the water, we do know though we have to maintain the trees and shrubs for other wildlife and protect our infrastructure.”

Hope says they can’t say for certain that numbers are up but they can say it’s in more concentrated areas because they’ve lost some land since 2013.

“We try to do mitigation first but if it comes to a point where the habitat is being destroyed for other wildlife then we might have to remove the beavers.”

They have a volunteer session scheduled for Griffith Woods this Saturday, for more information visit the city’s website.