Beaver ignorance never really goes out of style!

   Posted by heidi08 On July - 17 - 2017

Oh good! Smart people are still being head-smackingly stupid about beavers! Thank goodness! I thought I was out of a job for a while there. It’s good to know our services are still needed.

Let’s start where we always start, shall we? In Saskatchewan.

Meewasin starts work on trail through the Northeast Swale

Work began Thursday on building a 2.2-kilometre trail network through the swale that is intended to both accommodate those who want to enjoy the area just north of the Silverspring and Evergreen neighbourhoods and discourage those who misuse the area.

The trail system will include six nodes that will feature benches, garbage cans and interpretive panels. The trail is being built along a three-metre-wide swath that has already been disturbed by human activity. “What we’re trying to create here is an access to the swale, which has significant ecological value,” Otterbein said in an interview at the swale Friday.

A beaver has built a home in the wet pond and some endangered northern leopard frogs have also been spotted in the pond, Otterbein said. Meewasin also plans to install wildlife-friendly fencing along the swale’s edge next to the developing Aspen Ridge neighbourhood.

I’m told a ‘swale’ is a marshy or hollow place between ridges. I couldn’t tell when I read this article whether they were thinking about protecting the sensitive frogs from the beavers or protecting the neibourhood from the beavers, but I’m sure curious what “wildlife-friendly fencing” looks like in Saskatchewan, where they actually had a beaver kill contest just last year.

I’m guessing that they were heavily informed by the thoughtful outdoor chronicle “Mountain men” which profiles a forlorn trapper who can’t kill many beavers because there’s not enough WATER. No kidding.

Lack of water gives Tom beaver problems on Mountain Men

This week on Mountain Men, Tom is having trouble with his beaver traps due to a lack of water.

Beavers are creatures of habit and the key to success when trapping them is usually the location. Traps can be set along the beaver dam, where they tend to run across the path over the dam often. You can also place one between two ponds the beavers are using or any path they use frequently.

The lack water means that not only can Tom not get his boat into the traps, but the traps are also exposed and any twigs covering them are now gone. This makes it highly unlikely he’s going to have any luck whilst the water levels are so low.The lack water means that not only can Tom not get his boat into the traps, but the traps are also exposed and any twigs covering them are now gone. This makes it highly unlikely he’s going to have any luck whilst the water levels are so low.

Ohh no! Poor Tom! Not only is the water level too low to trap beavers but the unfortunate man is too frickin stupid to live! Saying the water level is too low to catch beavers is like saying there’s no time to gain weight because you’re too busy eating, or your prisons are too empty because the city has too many police, or the federal government is working so hard we can’t afford health care.

Here, Tom, I have an idea. Stop killing beavers for a nanosecond. Let them make their dams and raise the water level and recharge the aquifer, and then you’ll be able to trap lots of things that live IN the water, like otter and mink and things that drink the water like moose and fox, and the beaver will save your sons!  Buy them each a copy of this novel, will you? And then we’ll talk.

facepalm

More grrs for Vermont where they have been struggling mightily to justify extending the otter trapping season for another month, and foolishly agreed to listen to the public on the issue. They have been getting millions of emails from folks who say angrily that “otters are innocent” and they shouldn’t be killed for their fur.

Obviously beavers are NOT innocent, that goes without saying, and their trapping season lasts a month longer so it’s woefully inconvenient for trappers to have to modify their beaver killing machines so that otters pass through safely and for wardens to actually check and see the difference. The easier adjustment would be to make the seasons the same – plus you can depredate beaver any ole time of year if they’re causing a problem.

Note no one is suggesting LOWERING the beaver trapping season to make them the same and save on paperwork. I  wonder why?

A Vermont legislative committee has postponed a decision on a proposal to lengthen the otter trapping season. This postponement, voted on last week, adds another chapter to a long and vigorous public debate.

“It’s a highly contentious issue,” said Brenna Galdenzi, president and founder of animal advocacy group Protect Our Wildlife. In a phone interview following the hearing, she said, “Whenever there’s an issue of trapping, it really gets people active and speaking out. It really gets people going.”

“We’ve received hundreds and hundreds of emails,” Catherine Gjessing, general counsel for the state Fish and Wildlife Department, said in a phone interview. The department provides staffing and scientific recommendations to the Fish and Wildlife Board when it considers changing hunting, fishing or trapping regulations.

 Kimberly Royar, a state furbearer biologist, said that public sentiment toward trapping sometimes focuses on sympathy with individual animals at the expense of considering how best to manage an entire species.

Beaver and otter are caught using the same traps, but otter season ends at the end of February and beaver season ends March 31. This means trappers going after beaver in March are required to modify the trigger mechanisms in their traps to allow otter to pass through unscathed.

Gjessing and Royar identified two primary reasons the department supports P-1704, both related to different end dates of the otter and beaver seasons. First, they said the department has heard reports from trappers that the modified traps used in March sometimes simply pin beaver until they drown instead of breaking their necks, leading to inhumane kills. Extending otter season would remove the requirement that trappers use the modified trigger mechanism.

“It’s not a matter of increasing the otter take,” Royar said. “It’s allowing trappers to utilize the otter that are taken during that expanded beaver season. That’s really the goal of this.”

Oh, those tender-hearted trappers! Did you catch they are ONLY asking for that extra month for the poor beavers who drown to death in the modified traps. Goodness those trappers are sensitive souls, (and if you wonder how sensitive go read the comment section of the article).

As I said, no one minds about killing beavers, but if we could just change the rules about how often we can kill otters we can reduce the suffering of those poor pests. Because otters are INNOCENT!

Grrr.

2 Responses to “Beaver ignorance never really goes out of style!”

  1. Sherry says:

    Since when can killing be ‘humane’????

  2. heidi08 says:

    I never really understand that word. Cuz humans do REALLY awful things, so I guess by definition it’s all humane?