I’m writing in response to the Dec. 27 letter about wildlife populations and self-regulation, specifically beavers. The letter caught my attention because I’ve been reading “Eager: The Surprising Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter” by Ben Goldfarb.

Goldfarb also discusses the change to trapping in Massachusetts and how the beaver population jumped by 2001. However, the author also spoke with the Massachusetts furbearer biologist, Dave Wattles, who indicated that the beaver population has now stabilized.

The book also discusses the idea of cultural carrying capacity, which is the number of animals that humans can tolerate. The level of tolerance comes from how much conflict arises between people and the animal, in this case beavers.

No one wants their property flooded or water contaminated, but is trapping the only answer?

According to Skip Lisle, the answer is no. Lisle has a master’s degree in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine, and he worked with the Penobscot Nation to find ways of peaceful co-existence with beavers.

Lisle discovered, as have many others, that killing beavers is not an effective long-term solution. It’s better to find non-lethal ways of ending conflicts with beavers, which led to his company Beaver Deceivers LLC (https://beaverdeceivers.com). He provides flow devices and has invented other tools to prevent beavers from damaging private and public property.

This is a helpful reminder that instead of trying to get rid of animals, we should be looking for ways to live peacefully with them.

Erica Bartlett


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