How to outsmart a beaver

How to outsmart a beaver

With Skip Lisle of Beaver Deceivers International

To acknowledge that beaver create environments that store water and help sustain other creatures is insufficient. Beaver are nothing less than continent-scale forces of nature and in part responsible for sculpting the land upon which Americans built their communities.

Ben Goldfarb in Eager: The Surprising Secret Life of Beaver, 2018

Meet Skip Lisle, the man who makes a living outsmarting beavers in order to save them.

The North American beaver is a keystone species, or an organism that supports an entire biological community. Beavers are great explorers and engineers, and their constructions create wetlands that in turn provide valuable habitat for countless other species including insects and other invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Over time, beaver wetlands also build up rich deposits of soil.

Unfortunately, beavers’ engineering projects frequently bring them into conflict with humans, who often resort to trapping or shooting these large rodents when they cause property damage. That’s where Skip Lisle, inventor of the Beaver Deceiver, comes in. Skip has great admiration for beavers and their ability to improve local wildlife habitat. In this recorded program, he explains how a Beaver Deceiver can allow beavers to thrive and do what beavers do, while preventing damage to human property.

Recorded on March 24, 2022 in Damariscotta, Maine. Our apologies: the first portion of the program is missing from the recording.

About the presenter

Skip Lisle of Beaver Deceivers International holds a master’s degree in wildlife management from the University of Maine. He developed Beaver Deceivers and has also invented devices for manipulating the flow of water and deterring beavers from behavior that would put them in conflict with humans. Lisle has worked extensively throughout the U.S. and in Europe, and has collaborated with the Penobscot Indian Nation on a large-scale beaver management program. Each beaver situation he sees is unique, he says, and requires fresh problem solving to ensure that both beavers and people feel comfortable in their respective habitats.