Beaver relocation a win-win

CODY, WY — Three beavers are happy in their new homes after Wyoming Game & Fish relocated them this summer. They’re also doing important restoration work.

The beavers were trapped on private land south of Cody where they were causing flooding over roads. Game & Fish biologists captured and relocated them to a stream south of Meeteetse, where they will help in long-term efforts to improve riparian and stream habitat.

Habitat Biologist Jerry Altermatt said that beaver can be beneficial to both habitat and other wildlife. “As beavers build dams and pond water is created, riparian vegetation is improved along the stream, stabilizing stream banks, which creates better habitat for fish and wildlife. Beaver dams create ponds that allow beavers to escape predators, but these ponds are also productive wetlands that many birds, deer, moose, and other wildlife depend on. They also increase habitat diversity for trout, recharge groundwater, increase late-season flows and filter sediment and nutrients from water,” Altermatt said.

Beaver relocations are usually done in August and September because the kits (young) are old enough and all the beavers are more likely to stay where you put them. Game and Fish always attempts to capture a breeding pair and relocate the family group to the same location.

After the beavers are captured, they are housed in a specialized trailer until other beavers in a family group can be captured. Game and Fish recently acquired the trailer thanks to monetary donations from Wyoming Outdoorsmen, and two private donations from residents in Park County. More relocations are planned for this fall.

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