News / Ottawa

Homeless beavers stir more calls for better wildlife management

The neighbours of a family of Stittsville beavers whose lodge was destroyed by the city at the end of June called for a better wildlife strategy Monday outside city hall.

"There's no reason to kill the mother beaver and her kits," said Lynne Rowe, a member of the Constance Creek Wildlife Refuge, citing the city's current policy of trapping and killing the animals. "We need to look for other ways to deal with the issue rather than just killing them."

Mayor Jim Watson said the animals would not be trapped and killed as per city policy last November and indicated the city is working on a new wildlife strategy to roll out this fall.

Yet the details of the policy haven't yet emerged and those concerned about the beaver say the animal's habitat will only continue to be threatened in the city's suburbs.

"They've been talking about a new wildlife strategy for years," said Rowe. "What we need is a stronger wildlife policy and a long-term vision rather than just local development out of control."

Rowe said green overpasses for animals could be one solution that would work well for all animals, and that when it comes to beavers, there are already policies in other cities that have had success.

"Putting baffles around the drainage area prevents them from damning up the water flow," she said. "And you can protect the trees by wrapping them them with wire."

"This is our nation's capital and wildlife is part of our city," Rowe said. "Let's create a balance."