Date of this Version
In 1984, a postal survey of landowners and managers was conducted in North Carolina concerning the presence of beavers (Castor canadensis) on their property. Major objectives of the survey were to determine: (1) current distribution and relative abundance of beavers in North Carolina, (2) the economic and environmental impacts from an apparently increasing beaver population, and (3) landowner attitudes toward these increasing populations. Of the 1,069 questionnaires returned, data was compiled from 456 landowners (43 percent) who confirmed the presence of beaver activity on their property during 1983. A significant increase in beaver numbers and distribution has occurred throughout much of North Carolina during the past thirty years and currently the species inhabits 80 of 100 counties. Beavers affect a minimum of 35,858 hectares of bottomland in North Carolina. Total estimated damage loss to forestry and agricultural interests in 1983 exceeded benefits by $275,000. Cooperative efforts in administering a beaver management program between the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and other state agencies centers on landowner education and technical assistance in the form of inspection and demonstration, with referral to professional trappers for aid in controlling nuisance animals.