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The technical supervision required to manage beaver includes: ! map production; ! information gathering (landowners, technicians, etc.); ! field visits and diagnosis of situation; ! training and knowledge transfer by an expert (biologist); ! on-site supervision of workers; ! results monitoring; ! management and monitoring of trapping.

Monitoring Goals

Monitoring is a crucial element of beaver management.

Background and Partners

The monitoring process primarily involves: !establishing a monitoring protocol; !inspecting and assessing the effectiveness and durability of management techniques; !evaluation of maintenance costs; !making recommendations and, if necessary, suggestions for improving procedures.

Some useful tools have been created to help apply the beaver management model beyond the Model Forest’s boundaries:

Tools: 1) Video A video explaining various techniques that can be used by private woodlot owners to manage beaver at the landscape level is available at the Bas-Saint-Laurent Model Forest. 2) Demonstration sites A network of demonstration sites has been set up in the Lower St. Lawrence region for the purpose of training private woodlot owners and forest consultants. The network consists of some 60 sites under the responsibility of the region’s 13 forest management agencies (delivery agents; 3-5 sites each). A fact sheet has been prepared for each site.

For further information: Forêt modèle du Bas-Saint-Laurent Contact: Joanne Marchesseault Telephone: (418) 722-7211 E-mail: foretmodele@fmodbsl.qc.ca

The Model Forest Program is sponsored by Natural Resources Canada

Fondation de la Faune du Québec Telephone: (418) 644-7926 E-mail: ffq@riq.qc.ca

Text and photos : Joanne Marchesseault and Éric Gosselin (FMBSL), Graphic design :Tandem communication

Applying the Model Elsewhere

In 2001, the Fondation de la faune du Québec and its partners, including the Bas-Saint-Laurent Model Forest, produced a management guide for land used by beavers in Québec.The guide aims to raise awareness among land use managers by providing them with a tool for assessing the positive and negative impacts of beaver activity, as well as with a range of techniques for preventing and controlling beaver damage while protecting and enhancing the animal’s habitat. The same year, the BSLMF drew on its experience i n i n t e g ra t e d a n d multiresource management to initiate a beaver management pilot project in its Est du lac Témiscouata territory in order to test the techniques in the FFQ guide and make sure they are practical. In 2002, the BSLMF continued the project and applied the techniques beyond its boundaries with the help of the Forêt Québec regional office, the Agence régionale de mise en valeur des forêts privées du Bas-Saint-Laurent, the Conseil de Bassin de la Rivière Rimouski and the regional county municipality of Matane.

The project seeks to introduce a true beaver management at the territorial level, to evaluate the steps for its implementation the costs and the efforts required. It is intended as a full-scale reference for experimenting with management techniques and a model that can be applied in other regions of Québec. In 2002, the BSLMF also began monitoring the project results so as to improve the model accordingly.

Testing Grounds In 2001, the project was conducted in the area managed by the Groupement forestier de l’Est du Lac Témiscouata, one of the three Model Forest territories. Six agriculture and forest-dependent municipalities totalling 700 landowners and 1500 private woodlots were involved. In 2002, the model was applied to the other two BSLMF territories (Nicolas Riou and Lac-Métis seigneuries), several private woodlots in the Lower St. Lawrence region (Agence régionale de mise en valeur des forêts privées du Bas-Saint-Laurent and Conseil de Bassin de la rivière Rimouski) and intramunicipal public land in the regional county municipality of Matane.

In two years, 164 demonstration sites will have been set up in private forests in the Lower St. Lawrence region and 100 landowners will have participated in the project.

R IVE ER C N RE AW .L T S

To Quebec

!

Groupement forestier de l’Est du Lac Témiscouata Nicolas Riou Seigniory Rimouski River Watershed Métis Seigniory Forest farms on Matane Regional County Municipality

Testing grounds limits for 2001-2002.


Beaver Ecology

Management Techniques

The beaver is a wide-ranging species native to North America. It generally inhabits riverbanks, lakeshores and wetland areas bordered by deciduous trees, where it builds dams to raise water levels, constructs lodges and burrows for shelter, and stores food piles for the winter. Beavers live in colonies of two to twelve members. Ideal beaver habitat consists of stable water levels, soft-bottom substrates and low-gradient land not far from deciduous species (trembling aspen, white birch, alder). Increasingly intensive logging attracts beavers due to the additional food supplies offered by young stands of pioneer deciduous species created by clearcutting. In fact, a decrease of trapping activities in addition with more favourable habitats are probably the reasons for the increase in beaver populations in many parts of Québec in recent years.

Management techniques can be geared to either prevention or control of beaver damage. They can also be used to enhance beaver ponds to favour local biodiversity. However, there is no perfect system suited to all situations. As a rule, the best approach is to adapt proven techniques on a caseby-case basis.

Impacts of Beaver Activity Beavers can drastically alter riparian habitat by, among other things, building dams to control water levels and flow, and their handiwork has both positive and negative effects. For example, the increased water levels resulting from dam construction create wetlands, which support wildfowl during the breeding period, shelter several species of mammals as well as brook trout, and help increase biodiversity. On the other hand, the disturbance of riparian ecosystems can flood roads and forested areas, plug culverts and create obstacles for fish. The cost of repairing beaver damage is often astronomical.

Basic Procedure for Developing a Territorial-Level Management Plan

Prevention Prevention is the best way to avoid emergencies and costly solutions. For instance, if you are planning to build a road, it is far better to determine the site’s potential as beaver habitat before work begins than to face problems and have to take corrective action later on. If necessary, pre-damming installations can be built to prompt the beaver to build its dam where it will not create a nuisance.

Remedial Measures Remedial measures prevent beavers from damaging existing structures. Two types of remedial action were tested: culvert protection systems and water level control devices 1) Culvert protection systems, or beaver guards Wire mesh protects culverts from beaver entry and blockage.

2) Water level control devices Morency cubes control the water level in beaver ponds. A cylindrical wire cage with drains can be used to lower water levels of the dam.

1) Delimit the management area based on the drainage pattern (sub-basin drainage area). 2) Make a cursory inventory of the area.This includes: ! assessing beaver habitat potential using the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) software; ! gathering information from forest consultants, local trappers and municipal employees; ! conducting a mail survey to identify the beaver-related problems encountered by landowners. 3) Based on the identified problems, conduct site characterizations and risk assessments for each site by: !visiting each site; !diagnosing the situation; !prioritizing situations and action. 4) Take action on the ground (prevention, control or enhancement measures). 5) Work with trappers to establish a trapping strategy.

Beaver Habitat suitability Index (HSI) map for Groupement forestier de l’Est du Lac Témiscouata (woodlot owners grouping formula) territory.

6) Twice a year (spring and fall), monitor and evaluate the results of implemented measures.

Enhancement

Capture

A number of management techniques can be used to enhance aquatic ecosystems and improve biodiversity.

1) Live capture and relocation

Installation of fish ladders enables fish to overcome physical obstacles in rivers and streams.

This technique involves capturing troublesome beaver and moving them to non-populated sites where they will not be a nuisance. It can be used where rapid intervention is required and it is impossible to wait for the trapping season to begin. A suitable relocation site must be found, preferably in consultation with a trapper, before beaver are captured. Live capture and relocation requires a permit from FAPAQ. 2) Trapping From a sustainable development perspective, trapping can be used to maintain adequate population densities while limiting beaver damage. Establishing a trapping strategy in conjunction with local trappers is an integral part of any beaver management plan and improves the effectiveness of management techniques.


Beaver Ecology

Management Techniques

The beaver is a wide-ranging species native to North America. It generally inhabits riverbanks, lakeshores and wetland areas bordered by deciduous trees, where it builds dams to raise water levels, constructs lodges and burrows for shelter, and stores food piles for the winter. Beavers live in colonies of two to twelve members. Ideal beaver habitat consists of stable water levels, soft-bottom substrates and low-gradient land not far from deciduous species (trembling aspen, white birch, alder). Increasingly intensive logging attracts beavers due to the additional food supplies offered by young stands of pioneer deciduous species created by clearcutting. In fact, a decrease of trapping activities in addition with more favourable habitats are probably the reasons for the increase in beaver populations in many parts of Québec in recent years.

Management techniques can be geared to either prevention or control of beaver damage. They can also be used to enhance beaver ponds to favour local biodiversity. However, there is no perfect system suited to all situations. As a rule, the best approach is to adapt proven techniques on a caseby-case basis.

Impacts of Beaver Activity Beavers can drastically alter riparian habitat by, among other things, building dams to control water levels and flow, and their handiwork has both positive and negative effects. For example, the increased water levels resulting from dam construction create wetlands, which support wildfowl during the breeding period, shelter several species of mammals as well as brook trout, and help increase biodiversity. On the other hand, the disturbance of riparian ecosystems can flood roads and forested areas, plug culverts and create obstacles for fish. The cost of repairing beaver damage is often astronomical.

Basic Procedure for Developing a Territorial-Level Management Plan

Prevention Prevention is the best way to avoid emergencies and costly solutions. For instance, if you are planning to build a road, it is far better to determine the site’s potential as beaver habitat before work begins than to face problems and have to take corrective action later on. If necessary, pre-damming installations can be built to prompt the beaver to build its dam where it will not create a nuisance.

Remedial Measures Remedial measures prevent beavers from damaging existing structures. Two types of remedial action were tested: culvert protection systems and water level control devices 1) Culvert protection systems, or beaver guards Wire mesh protects culverts from beaver entry and blockage.

2) Water level control devices Morency cubes control the water level in beaver ponds. A cylindrical wire cage with drains can be used to lower water levels of the dam.

1) Delimit the management area based on the drainage pattern (sub-basin drainage area). 2) Make a cursory inventory of the area.This includes: ! assessing beaver habitat potential using the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) software; ! gathering information from forest consultants, local trappers and municipal employees; ! conducting a mail survey to identify the beaver-related problems encountered by landowners. 3) Based on the identified problems, conduct site characterizations and risk assessments for each site by: !visiting each site; !diagnosing the situation; !prioritizing situations and action. 4) Take action on the ground (prevention, control or enhancement measures). 5) Work with trappers to establish a trapping strategy.

Beaver Habitat suitability Index (HSI) map for Groupement forestier de l’Est du Lac Témiscouata (woodlot owners grouping formula) territory.

6) Twice a year (spring and fall), monitor and evaluate the results of implemented measures.

Enhancement

Capture

A number of management techniques can be used to enhance aquatic ecosystems and improve biodiversity.

1) Live capture and relocation

Installation of fish ladders enables fish to overcome physical obstacles in rivers and streams.

This technique involves capturing troublesome beaver and moving them to non-populated sites where they will not be a nuisance. It can be used where rapid intervention is required and it is impossible to wait for the trapping season to begin. A suitable relocation site must be found, preferably in consultation with a trapper, before beaver are captured. Live capture and relocation requires a permit from FAPAQ. 2) Trapping From a sustainable development perspective, trapping can be used to maintain adequate population densities while limiting beaver damage. Establishing a trapping strategy in conjunction with local trappers is an integral part of any beaver management plan and improves the effectiveness of management techniques.


The technical supervision required to manage beaver includes: ! map production; ! information gathering (landowners, technicians, etc.); ! field visits and diagnosis of situation; ! training and knowledge transfer by an expert (biologist); ! on-site supervision of workers; ! results monitoring; ! management and monitoring of trapping.

Monitoring Goals

Monitoring is a crucial element of beaver management.

Background and Partners

The monitoring process primarily involves: !establishing a monitoring protocol; !inspecting and assessing the effectiveness and durability of management techniques; !evaluation of maintenance costs; !making recommendations and, if necessary, suggestions for improving procedures.

Some useful tools have been created to help apply the beaver management model beyond the Model Forest’s boundaries:

Tools: 1) Video A video explaining various techniques that can be used by private woodlot owners to manage beaver at the landscape level is available at the Bas-Saint-Laurent Model Forest. 2) Demonstration sites A network of demonstration sites has been set up in the Lower St. Lawrence region for the purpose of training private woodlot owners and forest consultants. The network consists of some 60 sites under the responsibility of the region’s 13 forest management agencies (delivery agents; 3-5 sites each). A fact sheet has been prepared for each site.

For further information: Forêt modèle du Bas-Saint-Laurent Contact: Joanne Marchesseault Telephone: (418) 722-7211 E-mail: foretmodele@fmodbsl.qc.ca

The Model Forest Program is sponsored by Natural Resources Canada

Fondation de la Faune du Québec Telephone: (418) 644-7926 E-mail: ffq@riq.qc.ca

Text and photos : Joanne Marchesseault and Éric Gosselin (FMBSL), Graphic design :Tandem communication

Applying the Model Elsewhere

In 2001, the Fondation de la faune du Québec and its partners, including the Bas-Saint-Laurent Model Forest, produced a management guide for land used by beavers in Québec.The guide aims to raise awareness among land use managers by providing them with a tool for assessing the positive and negative impacts of beaver activity, as well as with a range of techniques for preventing and controlling beaver damage while protecting and enhancing the animal’s habitat. The same year, the BSLMF drew on its experience i n i n t e g ra t e d a n d multiresource management to initiate a beaver management pilot project in its Est du lac Témiscouata territory in order to test the techniques in the FFQ guide and make sure they are practical. In 2002, the BSLMF continued the project and applied the techniques beyond its boundaries with the help of the Forêt Québec regional office, the Agence régionale de mise en valeur des forêts privées du Bas-Saint-Laurent, the Conseil de Bassin de la Rivière Rimouski and the regional county municipality of Matane.

The project seeks to introduce a true beaver management at the territorial level, to evaluate the steps for its implementation the costs and the efforts required. It is intended as a full-scale reference for experimenting with management techniques and a model that can be applied in other regions of Québec. In 2002, the BSLMF also began monitoring the project results so as to improve the model accordingly.

Testing Grounds In 2001, the project was conducted in the area managed by the Groupement forestier de l’Est du Lac Témiscouata, one of the three Model Forest territories. Six agriculture and forest-dependent municipalities totalling 700 landowners and 1500 private woodlots were involved. In 2002, the model was applied to the other two BSLMF territories (Nicolas Riou and Lac-Métis seigneuries), several private woodlots in the Lower St. Lawrence region (Agence régionale de mise en valeur des forêts privées du Bas-Saint-Laurent and Conseil de Bassin de la rivière Rimouski) and intramunicipal public land in the regional county municipality of Matane.

In two years, 164 demonstration sites will have been set up in private forests in the Lower St. Lawrence region and 100 landowners will have participated in the project.

R IVE ER C N RE AW .L T S

To Quebec

!

Groupement forestier de l’Est du Lac Témiscouata Nicolas Riou Seigniory Rimouski River Watershed Métis Seigniory Forest farms on Matane Regional County Municipality

Testing grounds limits for 2001-2002.

http://www.modelforest.net/media/k2/attachments/BSL_Beaver_management_EN  

http://www.modelforest.net/media/k2/attachments/BSL_Beaver_management_EN.pdf

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