Canadian beavers* are herbivores. Strict vegetarians!
The eat bark, leaves and plants.
They are active after dusk and stay away from humans. If you go swimming in the evening and get close to one it will flap its tail on the water to scare you away. That’s it.
You will usually find a beaver family on each of our lakes. They seldom do serious damage. If there are valuable trees on your shoreline, or close by, you should consider protecting them as shown on the left ide of this post.
Our policy at the DCA has not changed: we do not intervene unless the beavers are doing serious damage or threaten a property. Then, and only then will we ask a trapper to take them away. The trapping season begins in late October and any capture before that date must be justified. Removing a family of beavers from a lake is often futile as another will come to take its place sooner or later.
In 2019, at least one property on Black Lake suffered serious damage and beaver activity has been reported on both Black and Boyd.
If you observe suspicious activity like hut building, do not hesitate to call your lake sentinel.
Been here for 7.5 million years.
Since beavers have been on this planet for about 7.5 million of years, the shrubs they eat have developed defence mechanisms. For example, alder – their favourite food – will keep growing again even after having been cut by a beaver.
So, we will always have beavers. We could not eradicate them even if we wanted to. There are hundreds of millions of them in North America. Get rid of a family on a lake and next thing you know another has colonized it. That is why we talk about beaver management, beaver control.
The Argentinian Fiasco.
There we none in South America until Argentina decided to create a fur business in la Tierra del Fuego. In 1946 a military plane brought 10 pairs of beavers from Manitoba and let them loose in those islands at the extreme south of Argentina. There are now more than 100,000 of them in Argentina and Chili and they have created an ecological disaster: no predators, plants and trees with no defences. Now they are trying to eradicate them.They are finding that Canadian beavers are very resilient!
Stay away from Otters.
Finally, beavers should not be confused with otters of which we have a few in the Laurentian lakes. They are carnivores and been known to bite swimmers. If you spot one, stay away.
* There are also Eurasian beavers