Metrolinx will try white-tailed muskrats instead of beavers after residents complain

Metrolinx, the regional transit agency, has been draining a pond in Toronto where residents say beavers have spent generations breeding and raising young. Residents say the beavers have always been an important part of their community, and they want the utility agency to restore the pond rather than remove the beavers and their young.

A Metrolinx spokesperson confirmed the D.C.-Toronto connection and told the Washington Post that the agency “disposes of fallen trees, logs and other material by [ponds and other water bodies] to reduce flooding in Toronto and to keep these stormwater management sites clean.”

The agency hasn’t ruled out bringing in wildlife consultants, but all options — including bulldozing, cages and spray trucks — have been ruled out, according to a statement. The agency says it will explore using native beavers to raise young, though the local black-tailed muskrat has been a more realistic option.

It wouldn’t be the first time Metrolinx has faced pushback from residents over its ecological management. The agency has come under fire for its dealings with the world’s largest land bird species, the red-shouldered hawk, but it has also conducted controversial tree canopy maps and plotted buses on a route used by ducks.

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