Wildlife advocates seek limits on bobcat trapping in NV
Associated Press - June 12, 2009 4:15 PM ET
RENO (AP) - Wildlife advocates are seeking limits on the number of bobcats trapped in Nevada, saying they're worried about over-trapping of the cats because of high pelt prices.
Don Molde (moldy) of Reno, a former board member of the Defenders of Wildlife, thinks trappers in Nevada should be subject to quotas like hunters. His request for limits will be considered June 27 in Lovelock by state wildlife commissioners.
According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, trappers in Nevada bagged 10,260 bobcats from 2006 to 2009. That includes 4,911 in 2006-07, a peak that coincided with a spike in pelt prices.
Department spokesman Chris Healy says the state is considering a shorter bobcat trapping season because fewer kittens were born in the last two years.
He says the kitten numbers are down because of drought and a lack of prey, not because of over-trapping.
Department biologist Kevin Lansford says he thinks the state's bobcat population is stable and healthy.
Bobcat fur coats have become a hot item among the fashion-conscious in Russia and China, leading to a big jump in prices and exports for the soft, spotted pelts.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org