SPEAKER: Sapsucker Woods Pond seems peaceful, but creatures are stirring in its waters. The beavers have been busy doing what beavers do-- building dams. But that also means stripped and downed trees, blocked drainage, and flooding-- creating concerns about protecting the trails, visitors, and nearby properties.
JEFF PAYNE: We had to haul the debris out of the dam to keep the water levels down. Well, one beaver was manageable. With two, it was getting questionable.
And this summer I threw in the towel. I unplug it, and within hours of me unplugging it, they'd have it plugged right back up again. And they ended up flooding the whole sanctuary all the way back down to Sapsucker Woods Road.
SPEAKER: The goal is to find a way to coexist with the estimated 6 to 10 beavers that live here now. That's where Mike Callahan comes in.
Beavers are Mike's business. To solve the problem here, he'll put together a device made of pipe and fencing to keep the beavers out and keep the water flowing.
MIKE CALLAHAN: There's just a few things in the front here.
What I'm going to do today is enclose the drainage structure with some fencing so the beavers can't get at it. Then it'll keep their damming away from the drain. And then I'm running this pipe through that fence. And the purpose of that is so that when the beavers swim by the intake of my pipe, they won't feel or hear the water going into it.
SPEAKER: It's the sound and the feel of moving water that triggers the beavers urge to build.
After the cages are built on shore and the pipes connected, the device is floated out onto the pond with cinder blocks attached to keep the whole thing submerged.
MIKE CALLAHAN: I've installed over 1,200 sites with these devices. And with this particular type of device, the success rate is over 99% with the beavers still here.
I love solving the problems but doing it in a way that we can coexist with the beavers and all the wildlife that go along with the beaver habitat.
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In recent years, beavers have taken up residence in Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary, home to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York. Beaver activity on Sapsucker Woods Pond has caused some problems, so we turned to Beaver Solutions LLC to help us tackle the issue. The device installed in the pond will allow us to coexist peacefully with the beavers.