So last Friday the kill traps went back up. UVM has killed at least one of the beavers so far, and another one went missing since last Thursday (with finishing up grading I haven't been able to spend as much time out there, so there very well could still be three left, but I was only been able to see/hear 2 last night; all the time spent grading means that this footage is all old). I'm not universally opposed to trapping, I just think in this case it's being done irresponsibly (ecologically and in terms of the community perspective), in a short-sighted way, and as a result of prior ineptitude.
UVM Grounds won't respond to my questions about the process involved or why it's so imperative to kill them - an unfortunate lack of transparency - so I'll speculate based on personal observation and what I've heard second hand. From what I gather the beavers have to go because part of the requirement for managing the retention pond (built as a mitigation for paving the parking lot next to the Centennial Field) includes monitoring and managing for both water quality and water height. Apparently they have to check these every month to meet legal obligations. Water height is an easy one, but I would assume they're either not doing it regularly or doing it poorly as the beavers have been there for 4.5 out of the last 7 months (a 2 month stretch from June to late July, and again from late September until now). Most of that time the water has been about 4' higher than normal.
As for pollution, I don't know how beavers being there would make any difference or what kind of pollution they'd be measuring (biological or chemical). It's not like any of the vegetation is doing any biofiltering of anything this time of year. And the volume of water flowing out should be the same as if the water were 5' lower. Beavers don't really carry rabies and there's never been a rodent-to-human infection, not that that should be a concern (if it was they'd probably want to do something about the raccoon population.
|Beaver scat! A rare site! Basically it's just saw dust. This is from Mill Pond|
Where: Retention pond under powerlines in Centennial Woods
|The amazing capacity of beech to stump sprout. Look at all those latent buds!|