Date of this Version
Taylor, J., D. Sphar, and G. Ahrens. 2013. Identifying and managing mountain beaver damage to forest resources. Oregon State University Extension Service EM 9063.
This publication describes techniques landowners and land managers can use to mitigate damage caused by mountain beavers.
The mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa) is a medium-sized rodent that is found throughout the Pacific Northwest, specifically the western regions of Oregon, Washington, northern California, and British Columbia. Mountain beavers are seldom seen, because of their subterranean lifestyle, but can cause considerable damage to forest regeneration. They primarily cause damage by clipping seedlings and small saplings, but they also girdle large saplings and trees and undermine the roots of large, mature trees.
Several management strategies are available to control mountain beaver damage, most typically: trapping, toxicants, exclusion, repellents, and habitat modification. No single method is guaranteed to solve damage problems; a combination of techniques used in an integrated management strategy will more likely lead to higher success.