Colorado, Idaho make reckless decisions to persecute bobcats, mountain lions and other wildlife

By on March 22, 2021 with 10 Comments

Each year, trophy hunters and trappers kill around 2,000 of Colorado’s bobcats, either for fun or to sell their furs overseas, usually in Russian and Chinese markets. The animals are hunted down with radio-collared dogs and shot at point-blank range, or they are trapped in cage traps with no protection from the weather nor food or water. Some die or are seriously injured as they try to escape.

Most Coloradans do not approve of such wanton and inhumane killing of their iconic native wildlife. As far back as 1996, Colorado voters spoke out unequivocally against trapping, by passing Amendment 14, an initiative that restricts traps and poisons on public lands. The number of Colorado residents who oppose cruel methods of killing wildlife has grown even more since and a January 2020 poll showed that two-thirds of Coloradans oppose trapping for fur, fun or cash and want the state’s wildlife agency to abide by Amendment 14. That’s why, earlier this year, we submitted a formal petition to Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife Commission to heed its residents’ wishes and end the carnage of bobcats in the state.

Unfortunately, the state last week decided it would continue to allow the trapping of bobcats by commercial trappers and by trophy hunters.

In addition to bobcats, Colorado will also continue to allow the recreational and commercial trapping on public lands of coyotes and swift foxes, a species that may be at risk of extinction in Colorado and beyond.

A day after this rash decision, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission put another iconic American wild cat, the mountain lion, under siege by voting to remove all trophy hunting quotas for mountain lions for the next two years. This gives trophy hunters the ability to kill an unlimited number of mountain lions over nearly the entire year. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game even admitted that they were allowing the killing in order to preserve elk populations that can then be targeted by hunters instead.

The agency also voted to expand trophy hunting and trapping of wolves, as well as trophy hunting of black bears.

The moves made by Colorado and Idaho smack of inhumane wildlife management. They are also scientifically unsound and highly irresponsible. Many of these animals now under attack have already seen their numbers in the wild dwindle because of habitat loss, trophy hunting and trapping. Mountain lions, for instance, today occupy just 30 percent of their historic range in the United States. Tens of thousands of bobcats are hunted and trapped every year in 39 states.

All native wild animals play essential roles in their ecosystems, and wild cats, especially, help preserve the biodiversity of the ecosystems they inhabit. If Colorado and Idaho want to preserve their wild lands for posterity, they need to ensure they do not allow these carnivores to be wiped out of existence—something their reckless decisions could definitely lead to.

Fortunately, we have seen some states refuse to consider similar attempts to appease trophy hunters and trappers on their soil. A bill in Oklahoma (SB 769) to open up a trophy hunt on mountain lions died before it could even make it to a vote on the Senate floor. This bill was especially concerning as Oklahoma does not even have an established mountain lion population, just young cats from neighboring states who wander through in search of territory to call their own.

In Oregon, we continued to fight multiple bills to once again allow hound hunting of mountain lions, a practice banned by Oregonians in the 1990’s. Our vocal opposition to these bills was heard loud and clear. None of the bills received a hearing and are effectively dead for the year.

In Illinois, we continue to support a bill (HB 1827) to ban the trophy hunting and trapping of bobcats.

We will keep up the pressure on lawmakers and wildlife management officials in Colorado and Idaho to end the unjustified trapping and hunting of native wild cats and other wild animals. Wildlife officials should not be making their decisions based on the blood lust and greed of a handful of trappers and trophy hunters. If you live in Colorado, make your voice heard by signing your name to this petition and telling your state’s wildlife officials you will not stand for this carnage. And if you live in Idaho, look up your state legislators and let them know you oppose the commission’s recent decision to expand trophy hunting of native carnivores and would like to see an end to this cruel practice in your state.

Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Jeane Camargo da Silva says:

    Que notícia triste! O ser humano ainda não aprendeu que tudo o que ele faz para a natureza e para os animais retorna para nós mesmos… puxa vida, até quando as criaturas vão sofrer em nossas mãos? Sinto vergonha da nossa espécie…

  2. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Yo no podemos permitir más violencia ni más abusos hacia los animalitos es por favor ya no más indiferencia esto tiene que acabar ya

  3. Carlos Quero Valdés says:

    Cómo puede haber estados que no solo no defiendan su maravillosa vida salvaje, sino que, por el contario, legalicen su destrucción? Cómo pueden estos nefastos legisladores autorizar la vil y cruel matanza de tantos animales para complacer la sed de sangre y dinero de estos horribles grupos que representan lo peor de nuestra especie? De verdad son noticias espantosas que nos entristecen e indignan, vergonzosas y desoladoras, porque si esto ocurre en la nación más desarrollada del mundo. qué podemos esperar para el resto del planeta? Ojalá la actitud firme y decidida de Oklahoma y otros estados sea un ejemplo que muchos sigan, proteger la vida salvaje y todos los ecosistemas naturales es hoy más importante que nunca!

  4. Mary Moore says:

    Please rethink the policies on hunting and killing our native big cats, as this affects the natural order of nature and is just wrong on all levels. Mr Trump changes many protections on our wildlife which has had a huge negative result and the horrific slaughter of even the young offspring, exceptionally cruel.

  5. Brian Swan says:

    Listen to your wildlife campaigners.

  6. Christine says:

    This heinous practice must be stopped! Animal lives matter too.

  7. John Glowa says:

    How many lynx are bring killed?

  8. James H. Mundy IV says:

    Kitty Block – people may love you and hate you, but you are right-on with this. Let me explain. Wildlife doesn’t only hold value if it can be monetized by humans. Equally important is recognizing the intrinsic non-economic value of species, their peaceful existence value as products of creation and their important role in healthy ecosystems. Sport/trophy hunters/outfitters, hounder’s “harvesting” killing Cougars now (600 permits/year in ID), but indiscriminately, when the hunting population (declining in the USA) is only 4.5% of USA’s population (trophy hunters less than .05% of hunting population)are contrary to 93% of Americans who believe we should preserve the remaining wildlife and wildlands. Not necessarily kill predators (a essential element of our ecosystem) to preserve hunting other obligates. The Federal Government (USDI & USDA), commissioners and F&G departments need to reform the old school, outdated and inconsistent principles of the North American Model of Wildlife Management created by hunters and trappers in the early 1900’s. Give the predators (animal, not human) a break and a peaceful natural longer life. The average hunter take 3 years of age, average lifespan 7 years in highly harvested western states (exp. CA) and live 8 – 12 in remote areas. While in captivity a Cougar will live to 20 – 23 years! Science can tell us how the world works, but what it can’t do is suggest it is right or wrong to do something. That is squarely in the domain of public values and attitudes. I believe that’s how societies changing relationship with animals plays out in the future. In Idaho there are 92 licensed predator hunting Outfitters with 185 licenses for various areas (not counting WA & MT licensed outfitters). And there are 50 outfitters advertising Cougar hunts in (Hunt Idaho – IOGA). The Big Cat doesn’t have a chance………………………

  9. Paul Hansen says:

    Can lawyers for wildlife appeal to the Lacey Acts of 1900 and 1907, which prohibited “casual killing, killing for commercial purposes, wasting of game, and mistreating wildlife.”? These were national “wise use” measures passed under Teddy Roosevelt, so I should think they would override State law when in conflict.

  10. Brett says:

    So wrong on so many levels. There are bobcats IN my neighborhood constantly, as well as coyotes and even the occasional cougar and bear in the winters. The numbers are not dwindling at all. Infact the numbers outside of town are growing. So it’s not about trophy hunting. It’s about keeping the balance and folks who have made a life out of wanting to know where their products come from

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