Protecting Oregon’s Beavers—and Salmon—From Wildlife Services

It may sound strange, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture regularly kills Oregon’s state animal—beavers—with traps, snares and firearms.

Numerous studies show beavers benefit endangered salmon and steelhead by creating ponds that provide fish with natural cover and food. Despite these well-established ecological benefits, Wildlife Services killed more than 400 beavers in Oregon in 2016, even in areas where endangered aquatic wildlife are known to rely on beaver ponds for survival.

It’s time to end open season on Wildlife Services’ killing Oregon’s state animal — the beaver. This “wild west” approach to animal management doesn’t pass muster when you’re likely harming endangered species. Our legal action prompted a pause on beaver killing from 2017-2020, and a biological opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service that unfortunately allows business as usual to resume.

We will continue our work to hold Wildlife Services accountable for harming threatened and endangered salmon and steelhead, for which a healthy beaver population is essential.

Photo: Mark Giuliucci