Lutra 46(2)_Lisle_2003

The use and potential of flow devices in beaver management

After being nearly exterminated during the fur trade European beavers (Castor fiber) and American beavers (Castor canadensis) have been recovering and gradually re-flooding their long-vacant habitats in recent decades. This development has led to a growing conflict with humans. Flow devices are discussed as an alternative to beaver removal in controlling beaver-human conflicts. Flow devices control damming behaviour and therefore water levels. If well designed and well built they are a long lasting, low-maintenance method of preventing unwanted flooding. Furthermore, by negating the need to remove beavers from an area, flow devices allow for the possibility of other, non-threatening wetlands developing nearby. Consequently, flow devices represent an opportunity to preserve and restore wetlands.