Beaver Bounty Idea Draws Unenthusiastic Response
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 14:30
The Fur Institute of Canada says introducing a province-wide bounty on beavers in Saskatchewan is probably not a good idea.
Delegates to the annual SARM convention have voted in favor of lobbying the provincial government to bring in a beaver bounty due to the damage the animal is causing farmland.
High levels of water combined with high numbers of beavers has resulted in flooding in some parts of the province.
The institute’s executive director, Rob Cahill, says there’s a better way to deal with the issue of beavers causing problems like flooding.
Cahill says governments should look at a longer-term program that supports the trappers that are already out there managing wildlife, and perhaps identify areas where beavers are more of a problem.
He says it would help if there was more money in trapping, adding the current price for beaver pelts is very low for the amount of effort it takes to produce one.
Cahill notes the average price of a beaver pelt is around $25, which is close to the price being suggested for a beaver bounty.
Saskatchewan Environment problem wildlife specialist Mike Gollop says a beaver bounty isn’t necessarily the most effective solution, because it would result in beavers that aren’t the problem being killed.
Gollop says individual RMs have jurisdiction to implement their own beaver bounties.
He also suggests pelt incentives for people to trap beavers as a good alternative, saying other jurisdictions have given trappers a supplement for trapping beavers on top of what they fetch for the pelt.
The provincial and federal governments announced yesterday there will be compensation for producers who suffered crop or forage damage by beavers — but didn’t commit to a bounty program.