Date of this Version
On 9–12 October 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (WS) hosted the International Beaver Ecology and Management Workshop in Chandler, Arizona. The workshop was jointly sponsored by the Multi-City Sub-Regional Operations Group (SROG), Tres Rios Ecosystem Restoration and Flood Control Project and WS. The SROG management is comprised of representatives from the cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, and Tempe. The workshop emphasized the management of beaver, their ecology, the part they play as a keystone species, and the issues they cause as an invasive species outside of the United States. The workshop began with a keynote address by Dr. Dale Arner on “Historical, economical, and ecological aspects of beaver restoration and management.” The keynote address was followed by a session on beaver ecology throughout North America. The workshop participants were updated by several papers on “Developing Research Tools” wherein the latest advances in technology were presented. The 2nd day of the workshop began with a 2nd keynote address by Dr. Dietland Müller-Schwarze, “Knowing beaver behavior as a basis for good management.” In North America, the perceived values of beaver range from negative (causing extensive damage) to positive (ecosystem engineer that promotes biological diversity); while attitudes towards beaver in South America may be more strongly negative as beaver are an invasive species that destroys native biodiversity. To address beaver damage, several papers addressed the use of individual beaver management techniques, cooperative programs, and changing beaver behavior. The workshop ended with the challenges and successes in developing population genetic models for beavers. Beaver management continues to be a worldwide affair with a number of success stories and a number of questions remaining to be answered. The workshop was well attended with 75 registrants representing 5 countries and 16 states.