Status of Beaver in South Carolina as Determined by a Postal Survey of Landowners

In 1975, a postal survey of4,500 landowners was conducted in South Carolina concerning the presence of beavers (Castor canadensis carolinensis) on their property. Ofthe 956 questionnaires returned, 239 (25 percent) confirmed the presence of beaver activity. During the past 10 years beaver populations have increased significantly in the Savannah and Pee Dee River drainages and currently they are distributed in 28 of the 46 counties in the state. Beavers inhabit 747 kilameters of stream and/or lake shoreline and affect a minimum of 7,138 hectares of bottomland. Total estimated damage loss to forestry and agricultural interests in 1974 exceeded benefits by $225,000. Coordinated efforts by the S. C. Wildlife & Marine Resources Department, the S. C. Forestry Commission, and Clemson University to Ilevelop a beaver management program are currently in progress. The overall objective of this program will be oriented towards total utilization of the beaver resource.

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