Managing Human-Beaver Conflicts

beaver pairBeavers are a keystone species because their dam-building activities create wetland habitat for many other species, including moose, otter, mink, waterfowl, songbirds, amphibians, insects, and fish.

The department strives to maintain a robust beaver population while maintaining levels that are compatible with public land uses and minimizing conflicts between beaver and people.  

Check out the links below to learn more about beavers and the department’s management efforts

Beaver Management

Beaver Wetlands Conservation Project – AKA Beaver Baffle Program

Overview of department’s program to assist landowners, road crews and municipalities who are experiencing conflicts with beavers, to maintain valuable wetland habitat.

Beaver Management Dashboard

A summary of data related to the department’s Beaver Baffle Program, including number and types of devices installed and wetland habitat influenced statewide.

Beaver Baffle Installation and Care Video 

Best Management Practices for Resolving Human - Beaver Conflicts

A guide for individuals who have questions, concerns or who are looking to mitigate damages caused by beavers.

Factsheet on BMPs for Beaver Conflicts - This factsheet, summarized from the publication listed above, provides an overview of what to do when there is problem with beavers on your property.

The Role of Regulated Trapping and the Management of Furbearers in Vermont

The benefits of trapping and its importance in furbearer research and management.

The Massachusetts Experience -  Unintended Consequences of Banning Beaver Trapping - The story of how a trapping ban resulted in the killing and waste of beaver, the destruction of wetland habitat, and increasing costs to towns around the state.

Vermont's Beavers

Beaver Natural History

Beaver were abundant in North America prior to European settlement, but unregulated harvest and habitat change drastically reduced the number of beaver and in some locations, eliminated them from the landscape by the mid to late 1800’s. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department reintroduced beaver back into the state in the 1920’s and embarked on a live trap and transfer program to reestablish them into potential habitats.   

Beaver are clumsy on land and build dams to create ponds. They are well adapted to the aquatic environment and spend most of their lives in a lodge or burrow in, or adjacent to, the pond or stream and within 100’ to 300’ from the water’s edge.  A family of beaver can build a 35’ dam in a week. 

Learn more about the habitat needs, diet, reproduction and status of Vermont's beavers.

Beaver Activity Benefits Other Wildlife

As previous noted, beaver are considered a keystone species because so many other animals rely on the wetland habitat they create. Check out the video below to see the number of wildlife that utilized this beaver created wetland and/or their dam to access food, travel from one side of the pond to the other or raise young. 

Trail camera captures a moose and great blue heron using the wetland habitat created by beaver activity.

Busy Beavers Video

Beavers waste no time repairing their dam following the installation of a beaver baffle.

Contact Us

Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
Commissioner Louis Porter

1 National Life Drive
Fish & Wildlife LogoDavis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3702
802-828-1000
fwinformation@vermont.gov

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The mission of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is the conservation of all species of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont.