The North American beaver (Castor Canadensis) ranges throughout North America. Intensively hunted for their valuable pelts at the turn of the century, the number of beaver plummeted to almost extinction. Since fashion trends veered away from using beaver fur, the species has since recovered to the levels we have today. Current estimates place the number of beavers in North America to between 6 – 12 million individuals. A large portion of Canada’s beaver population can be found in BC, where the current population estimate, according to the Ministry of Environment, is as many as 400,000-600,000 individuals.
Beavers are nature’s engineers. Their damming creates wetlands and ponds which are habitat for fish, water birds, amphibians and a host of other plants and animals. Unfortunately, the return of the beaver had created management issues on private and public lands. The beaver’s need to dam water causing extensive flooding and can damage crops, property and grazing lands.
On public lands where beaver activity poses no threat to the public or property, the City of Surrey has a policy of no interference and their activities will be tolerated.
Private property owners are responsible for the primary control of beavers on their property, including agricultural waterways. On private property where there is no threat to public or property, the City of Surrey recommends that owners take a stewardship approach and not remove the beaver, dam or lodge. The City of Surrey can provide consultation services to the public on how to protect (or "beaver proof") your property, but assumes no liability for implementation.
Trapping of live animals will only be preformed when the animal does not disperse or when significant property damage is occurring, and other exclusion methods are not feasible. Relocation will be considered only if an appropriate receiving area can be identified and confirmed by a qualified professional wildlife biologist and Ministry of Environment accepts the relocation plan.
Beaver Proofing Your Property can include: