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Beavers (Castor canadensis) were once rare in Indiana due to overharvest but are now abundant. In 1935, the Indiana Department of Conservation obtained a few breeding pairs from Wisconsin and released them on Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area. As the population grew, some moved into adjacent counties while others were trapped and released in other parts of the state. Presently, beaver are found in almost every county.
During the 1950s, the principal beaver range was the Kankakee River and Tippecanoe River drainage systems. Now, more than 8,000 miles of flowing water and thousands of acres of lakes and ponds are available in Indiana for beavers.
Beavers have few enemies and predation is limited primarily to man. Because they live in small, isolated colonies and are intolerant of newcomers, disease is not spread and has very little effect in depressing population growth. It is estimated that without control, the beaver population would increase by about one-third each year.
Beavers are strict vegetarians.
Spring and summer foods:
Due to their small size, lack of rich color, fur coarseness and heavy hide, Indiana beaver lack the qualities sought by the fur industry. Only a small portion of the state harvest is used by furriers. About 30 to 40 percent are used for partially-furred garments such as pieced coats, hats and gloves. Less than 10 percent are used in high-fashion apparel. Demand for Indiana beaver is low and average pelt prices seldom exceed $10. Low prices combined with the amount of time required to properly skin, flesh and stretch the hide produce very little incentive for trappers to trap beaver.
Although beaver harvest has steadily increased, it is not indicative of the economic demand placed upon the resource. Instead, it is in response to the beaver's increasing availability and attempts by landowners to remove nuisance beavers during the legal season. At present, the owner or tenant of any property may take without permit during the closed season any beaver discovered damaging property.
A beaver dam is not where a beaver lives. It is simply a mass of woody debris that may be able to be removed without a permit from the DNR, depending on its location and the equipment to be used. Get an outline of permit requirements. Be sure to obtain permission from the property owner(s) if the dam is on property other than your own