Cooperative beaver management in the Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve, Manitoba

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Menzies, Constance Elaine Lynn
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This study dealt with the level of responsibility surrounding beaver-associated damages in the Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve (RMBR) area. This study specifically involved identifying the beaver-associated concerns of the major partners, delineating the costs and responsibilities for addressing these concerns, and evaluating relevant management strategies and techniques. The methods used for this study involved surveying the major partners using a mail-out questionnaire. Pelt prices were the most significant factor influencing beaver population trends, and flooding was the most significant beaver-associated problem experienced in the RMBR. Generally, the cost-estimates indicated were consistent with the topography of the area and with results from other studies. The Rural Municipalities (RMs) of Rossburn, Park and Clanwilliam generally spent more on control techniques than did other RMs. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Shoal Lake District expended more on beaver control than did other DNR districts. Generally, the RMs bear most of the responsibility (time and dollars spent) compared to DNR and RMNP (particularly without the Manitoba Beaver Control Program involvement). The RMs, DNR and Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) all indicated similar control techniques (dynamiting dams, trapping and shooting) to be the most used and perceived to be the most useful in the RMBR. Future cost-share programs ought to consider the suggested recommendations particularly in light of ecosystem-based management approaches.