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A wildlife charity is calling on the provincial government to put an end to commercial beaver trapping, arguing that they can help fight the climate crisis.
In early September, The Fur-Bearers issued an open letter to BC’s Ministry of Forests and Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship.
“According to government data, 1,684 beavers were killed by licensed trappers for commercial and recreational purposes in the 2022-2023 trapping season,” the charity explains.
“The BC government receives a $0.46 royalty for each beaver killed, amounting to $774.64 in beaver royalties last year.”
As the beaver trapping season is set to open next month, The Fur-Bearers says the province needs to introduce “urgent measures” to stop the commercial and recreational trapping of beavers.
The wildlife charity also calls on the province to recognize the ecological benefits of the animals.
Aaron Hofman, director of advocacy and policy for the group, says beavers are a keystone species that play a critical role in ecosystems and help create thriving riparian habitats.
“These rich wetlands store water during droughts and are resilient against forest fires,” says Hofamn in the open letter to the province.
“Beavers also increase biodiversity, minimize flood risks, increase water quality, and sequester carbon.”
The group says there is well-documented scientific research that shows the ecological benefits of beavers and shows that “the value of a beaver alive on the land is incomparable to the forty-six cents the province receives from a royalty.”
In addition, the group is calling on the government to “shed” outdated worldviews that see beavers as a commercial commodity due to their pelts.
Besides calling for the immediate end to commercial and recreational trapping, the harity calls on the government to promote and support humane, non-lethal methods for beaver management.