Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Human-Wildlife Conflicts Volume 1, Number 1, Pages 106–111, Spring 2007. Published and copyright by the Jack H. Berryman Institute. http://www.berrymaninstitute.org/journal/index.html


Wildlife managers, researchers, and nuisance-control operators often require a nonlethal means of capturing beavers (Castor canadensis). Historically, live-capture has relied on enclosure-type traps such as Bailey or Hancock traps. We describe the live-capture of 231 beavers using snares in southern Illinois from 2002 to 2005. Capture success averaged 5.4 beavers/100 trap-nights. Capture success did not differ between sexes (P = 0.57) or age-classes (P = 0.68). We captured most beavers in haul-out slide sets, surface run sets, or channel sets. Recaptures accounted for 28% (n = 65) of all captures. Mortality rate using snares was 10% and decreased annually during the study period. Snares are advantageous over enclosure-type traps because they have a high capture:cost ratio and are less heavy and cumbersome than traps. However, mortality rates are relatively high, limiting the utility of this technique for some research.