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Wildlife advocates urge end to 'frivolous' beaver killings in B.C.

Beavers provide a host of ecological benefits, including sequestering carbon and minimizing flood risks, say The Fur-Bearers.
A young beaver swims in Vancouver. The Fur-Bearers are asking the province to announce protections for beavers ahead of the 2023 trapping season.

A group of people passionate about protecting animals is calling for an end to beaver trapping in British Columbia. 

The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals is sounding the alarm on people trapping beavers and the licensing regime of the B.C. government. 

Ahead of the 2023 trapping season, it’s asking for the province to announce protections for beavers, in an open letter

A press release by the wildlife group states: “According to government data, 1,684 beavers were killed by licensed trappers in the 2022/2023 trapping seasons. The B.C. government receives a $.46 royalty for each beaver killed, amounting to $774.64 in beaver royalties last year.”

Aaron Hofman, director of advocacy and privacy at Fur-Bearers, says it's critical that beavers remain on the landscape to restore habitats and help mitigate future crises. 

"The province needs to embrace beavers in its fight against climate change and shed an outdated worldview that views these fur-bearing animals through the commercial lens of their pelts,” says Hofman. 

The group points to the ecological benefits that beavers can bring, specifically after wildfires.

"As keystone species, beavers play critical roles in the ecosystem and create thriving, riparian habitats across the province. These rich wetlands store water during droughts and are resilient against forest fires," states the release. "Beavers also increase biodiversity, minimize flood risks, increase water quality, and sequester carbon."

Hofman says the first step is to bring an immediate end to the commercial and recreation trapping. Then, he’d like to see the promotion and support for humane methods for beaver management.

"This keeps more beavers on the land, providing cascading benefits to numerous plant and animal species and the broader ecosystem,” he says. 

The letter was sent to two ministries, asking them to put an end to the ‘frivolous’ killings of beavers this winter. 

Glacier Media reached out to the Minister of Forests for a response to the letter and will update this story once a response is received.