Metro, Jan.20, 2015 – beaver barriers


January 20, 2015 Updated : January 21, 2015 | 7:59 am 

Stop tearing down Stanley Park beaver barriers, says Vancouver conservationist

By Thandi FletcherMetro

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Mark T. White/Stanley Park Ecology SocietyA photo of a beaver in Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada.

It’s a dam mystery, but a Vancouver conservationist says someone seems to be repeatedly removing the mesh wire that protects Stanley Park’s trees from overeager beavers.

Robyn Worcester, conservation programs manager for the Stanley Park Ecology Society, said the group has long wrapped the park’s larger trees around Lost Lagoon with mesh wire to protect them from being chomped on by beavers.

But in recent years, Worcester said someone has been regularly unwrapping the wire and tossing it in the water, putting both the trees and other wildlife at risk.

“We’ve noticed some of the wraps will be taken off and tossed away,” Worcester told Metro. “These people might think that they’re helping the beavers, but we’re not sure why they’re really doing it.”

Worcester said the beavers have been ruled out as potential culprits, mostly because the wire is connected with pliers that make it impossible for an animal to untie.

“Not unless they have thumbs,” she said with a laugh.

That has left the society speculating that a person must be behind the wire removal and that they must believe they’re helping the beavers, said Worcester.

“They may be well meaning,” she said. “Unfortunately, I don’t know if someone who cares about beavers would be so careless as to throw the mesh into the water.”

Worcester said the society leaves the park’s smaller, fast-growing trees unwrapped so the beavers still have access to food and material for building lodges.

Although the society’s goal is to keep the beavers healthy and happy, she said it also has to take steps to protect the park’s vegetation for other animals.

“We don’t want the beaver to leave,” she said, “but at the same time, if we let them take down all the large trees, it essentially will cause the degradation of that habitat.”

If anyone sees someone tampering with the mesh wire, Worcester said she hopes they educate them that the material is important for protecting the park habitat.

“It’s important for people to remember that this is an urban park,” she said. “We’re working towards managing a variety of wildlife.”