The City of Airdrie has announced that it will be pausing the implementation of the current Provincial pest management practices with regard to the beavers in Nose Creek. According to a press release from the city, the administration will be seeking out further ecological expertise in the spring, with a specific focus on the local environment.

"We've heard clearly from residents that they have concerns with the current wildlife management strategies,” said Mayor Peter Brown. “We have also heard from residents that we need to properly manage wildlife and protect mature trees in the City."

The City states that it is contracting an environmental expert to conduct an assessment in Waterstone and other areas of the City and will create a strategy for how to best manage wildlife and protect trees in the City.

An online petition started three weeks ago by a resident of the city, with the goal of halting the trapping of beavers, has amassed over 10,000 signatures. The petition cites that beavers are an integral part of wetland ecosystems and that culling them is not the right answer. 

"Should these beavers be killed the already failing health of Nose Creek will deteriorate further. Beavers have a huge effect on the ecosystem. In fact, they are a keystone species and are responsible for creating a habitat which many other species rely on. There are several other answers to the problem than trapping and killing these animals," the petition stated.

Previously, the City of Airdrie stated that in 2022, beavers caused $9,000 of damage to mature trees, with additional damage done to private property.

“Removing beavers is always our last option,” said Eugene Lund, Operations Manager. “We have implemented a variety of preventative measures to protect mature trees, such as wrapping wire mesh around tree trunks. Unfortunately, this wasn’t successful in Waterstone and we made the decision to trap and remove the beaver. To date, we have successfully trapped and removed one beaver.”

According to Alberta Fish and Wildlife relocating beavers is not supported because beavers are territorial and compete for food and resources with other animals in the area. This competition often leads to relocated animals suffering unnecessarily. Relocation can also spread disease to other waterways.

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