Regarding the article “For Oakland man trapping beaver a lifelong avocation,” April 4, shame on the writer for glorifying the lethal trapping of beavers or any wildlife for profit.

The claim made by the trapper that beavers caught in submerged box traps die in less than a minute is ludicrous and doesn’t pass the straight face test. Beavers can hold their breath for up to 15 minutes underwater before they finally drown after struggling to breathe. Other types of traps, known as drowning sets, also hold beavers underwater for minutes until they finally drown.

Trapping is an inherently cruel activity. In fact it is exempt from Maine’s animal cruelty laws for this reason.

Beavers are an extremely important keystone species. They create important wildlife habitat for reptiles and amphibians, and for animals such as brook trout and wood ducks, both of which are game species. They also help to regulate water flow during the summer months. Trapping beavers is not a solution; it is a problem.

There are other means of co-existing with beavers that are not lethal. Many, but not all, beavers build dams. For those that do, there is technology available to prevent beavers from plugging culverts and flooding roads while allowing for humans and beavers to co-exist.

The young trapper would be wise to look into this technology. I expect it is more profitable and certainly far more environmentally friendly than killing. A beaver is much more than just a cowboy hat.

 

John Glowa

South China

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