British Columbia

Border-dwelling beaver wages battle against North Vancouver trees

A beaver has taken up residence on the border between two municipal districts on the North Shore.

A beaver has settled in North Vancouver - right on the border between two municipal districts

Beaver populations have risen to historic levels in the South Coast since the decline of trapping. (CBC)

A beaver, normally a symbol of Canadian pride and unity, has caused destruction on the border between two municipalities on B.C.'s North Shore.

Linda Lambert said the beaver has been living in Lower MacKay Creek just to the west of Capilano mall for several months, and has been wreaking havoc on trees in the area.

"He's wandering out of the creek-bed where he lives and attacking these trees, the ones that have been planted by the municipality and the ones that were there naturally," she said.

Around 10 to 20 trees have been damaged or destroyed on each side of MacKay Creek. (Stephen Lambert)

Lower MacKay Creek is right on the border between the City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver.

It's not known which district is responsible for dealing with the beaver, and Lambert believes it could be causing delays in creating a long-term plan. 

Toothy tyrant

Lambert said the beaver does his handiwork at night, under the cover of darkness.

"He starts on one side of the tree and the next night he works some more. He just has a party every night," she said.

Lambert said around 10 to 20 trees have been affected on each side of the creek. 

She said the District of North Vancouver is aware of the damage and has been removing trees rendered dangerous by the beaver's efforts. 

The district of North Vancouver has removed trees deemed dangerous after being gnawed by the beaver. (Stephen Lambert)

Mackay Creek originates at the top on Grouse Mountain and enters the city of North Vancouver before flowing under Marine Drive and back into the district of North Vancouver.

The area where the beaver has settled is prone to flooding in the spring, even without a beaver building a dam in the middle of the creek. 

"They are major workers. They don't stop, ever," said Lambert. 

"I guess that's why they're our national animal."