Tiffany Y. Chen; CDFW;; Alex Heeren

California is a large state that contains many diverse ecosystems and communities of people. Beavers (Castor canadensis) offer many ecological services, such as slowing and storing water for riparian habitats, stream sediment control, and maintain fluvial ecosystems. Unfortunately, they were once nearly extirpated from California. Even today beavers annually come into conflict with humans due to their damming and chewing behaviors. They are also known to disrupt the intended landscaping of wildlife preserves set aside for other wildlife species such as the Swainson's Hawk. In 2020 we categorized WIR incidents and found there were six common incident types: damming, flooding, vegetation, crops, mosquitos, and property damage. However, it is unclear to what extent reporting parties (RP) carry out preventative measures, how often they experience repeated beaver depredation issues, if preventative measures work, and how often does lethal removal help with reducing future conflicts with beavers. There is an urgent need for management to adapt to changing public support for wildlife conservation, values of people do not necessarily align with management decisions and vary across the damages experienced (Vaske 2007, Jonker et al., 2010, Yarmey and Hood 2020). The next phase of our project will be a survey designed to see the 1) Number of past human-wildlife conflict experiences with beavers, if they support legal control measures because the perceived risks of experiencing property damage is high. 2) Respondents that plan on changing preventative measures will have done so because they have either actively sought out preventative measures or found them to be effective. Results of our survey can help determine if preventative measures work and values of reporting parties.

Symbiosis - Community Science and Outreach  Zoom Presentation