STITTSVILLE - The beavers at Paul Lindsay Park in Stittsville have been saved – for now.
The city is halting the trapping activity that was launched to remove two beavers from the storm water management pond.
But the city wouldn’t rule out trapping beavers if they cause flooding, said Stittsville Coun. Shad Qadri.
“That (trapping) could still happen,” Qadri said. “I’m not hoping that it happens.
“If (flooding) happens, I am sure the city would have to take the necessary action in order to protect from flooding,” he said.
But Anita Utas, organizer of a group of “guardians” fighting to protect the beaver, said she wasn’t worried because beavers are very unlikely to cause flooding in the winter.
“I’m remaining positive,” Utas said. “They are slight hibernators, so they won’t be causing any problems right now … I don’t think there is going to be a question of flooding.”
Mayor Jim Watson said the city will be looking at what it can do to prevent flooding altogether.
“I have to get more information on what are the consequences of moving an animal farther afield so it doesn’t do the damage, but it keeps the animal alive,” Watson said.
The city also committed to speeding up the development of its wildlife strategy which includes how to deal with beavers in storm water management pond areas.
“We have heard in recent days that people would like us to have a second look at how we protect the integrity of our flood control systems and we are listening and acting,” Watson said as he announced the halting of the beaver at the Paul Lindsay Park pond on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 10.
Utas said she and the other beaver supporters are “very grateful” for the city’s decision. The group was set to hold a rally at city hall on Nov. 10, but instead used the event to thank the city. But Utas said she also wanted to remind the mayor and Qadri that the need for humane wildlife practices is a citywide issue.
“It’s not that the killing has stopped completely,” Utas said.
The new wildlife strategy will include a re-evaluation of the city’s beaver management practices. The city notes that there have been advances in beaver management practices and technologies that provide alternatives to lethal trapping of beavers.
Utas asked Watson and Qadri to bring in city staff to consult with an expert on humane stormwater control devices. The group also wants the city to implement the wildlife strategy it approved in 2010, Utas said.