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UVM Sets Kill Traps for Dam-Building Beavers in Centennial Woods

Kathryn Flagg

Teage O'Connor

When a family of beavers took up residence in a retention pond in Burlington’s Centennial Woods this past fall, field naturalist Teage O’Connor saw it as a learning opportunity: His students could watch the animals up close.

But the University of Vermont viewed their new tenants — and the dam they built — as a nuisance. Worried about flooding, the university this month set lethal traps to kill the large, semiaquatic rodents.

At least one of the four beavers — an adult male that O’Connor nicknamed Melvin — is already dead. Now O’Connor and others are calling for the university to halt the trapping until spring, when the beavers could be relocated.

Remember our friend watching urban beavers in Vermont? Well he has stepped his campaign up to the media level and is making his case to the public. I wrote to make sure he has Skip’s and Mike’s contact info and I’m hoping for great things.

With this great article by Kathryn, they are well on their way to getting the attention they will need to slow this down. Remember that killing the beavers will work for a season or two, but our flow device has worked for 5 years. Burlington is about a 2 hour drive from Grafton where Skip Lisle lives. If they can’t solve this problem intelligently, it’s hard to hold much hope for beavers anywhere!