Beavers

About Beavers

Beaver swimming with twig
  • Beavers can make a home anywhere with enough trees and a permanent water supply.
  • Beavers build dams to flood their chosen location, making the area more habitable for themselves.
  • Beaver ponds can be beneficial to an area as they create wetland habitat that other wildlife can use as a place to feed, nest or rest.
  • Beaver ponds slow water flow, which reduces soil erosion and allows sediment to settle.
  • Beavers are primarily nocturnal, meaning most of their feeding and working happens at night.
  • Beavers don’t have many predators and normally live up to ten years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can beavers be a nuisance to humans?

  • In developing and maintaining their habitat, beavers may remove and damage trees, block watercourses and cause excessive flooding.
  • Beavers are not responsible for the stomach ailment, "beaver fever." Beaver fever is giardiasis (caused by the parasite Giardia lamblia). Giardiasis can be transmitted by drinking water that’s been contaminated by an infected person or animal. The most common carriers of the parasite are people, pets and livestock.

What can I do about the beaver on my property?

  • Beavers may be hunted and trapped, without a licence and during all seasons, on privately owned land by the owner or occupant of the land, or by a resident with written permission from the owner or occupant of the land.
  • Additionally, beavers may be trapped under a Fur Management Licence during an open season or by someone who holds a Damage Control Licence (this can be issued from any Fish and Wildlife Office). A Damage Control Licence authorizes the removal of beavers outside of normal trapping seasons.
  • It is against the law to disturb or remove a den or lodge without a Damage Control Licence.
  • Removal of beaver dams may be permitted. Consult your local municipal, provincial and federal government policies and procedures.
  • If the goal is to maintain beaver populations but limit the possibility of regular flooding, consider installing a water leveller, a modified culvert that permits the flow of water while preventing beavers from stopping the water flow. There are several possible designs that may work based on location.
  • Trees and shrubs vulnerable to beaver damage can be protected by wrapping the base with hardware cloth or galvanized metal fencing, to a height of at least one metre.

Contact

Call a Fish and Wildlife officer

Your municipality and/or municipal district is authorized to help with beaver concerns. Local pest control companies may also be able to provide advice or service.

While Fish and Wildlife Officers strive to help where they can, they are generally only able to respond to incidents where there is a concern for public safety.

If you wish to contact a Fish and Wildlife office near you, see:

Related Information

For information about the beaver species in Alberta

To download in-depth information about bat control from The Handbook: Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage, published by the University of Nebraska, see:

 

Page Information

Updated: Feb 29, 2018