It took the threat of a lawsuit, but a federal agency is no longer killing the Beaver State’s beavers. Environmental groups had challenged the practice in Oregon because, they said, it’s a threat to more than just the state animal.
Beavers just can’t help themselves — they have to build dams from sticks and mud. Those dams can create really good habitat for other species, like imperiled salmon.
“The slow moving waters created by the beavers provide ideal cover and food for endangered fish,” said Collette Adkins, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.
But Wildlife Services (a program with the U.S. Department of Agriculture that deals with human-animal conflicts) has been culling Oregon’s beavers. The environmental groups said the program killed more than 400 Oregon beavers in 2016.