GRAND JUNCTION – Colorado wildlife commissioners have rejected a citizen petition to outlaw the trapping and trophy hunting of bobcats.
The Denver Post reported Thursday that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission heard arguments from both sides during a hearing in Grand Junction on Thursday.
The commissioners say there is a lack of scientific evidence that harvesting bobcats at current levels is harmful to the species.
Wildlife advocates, including some hunters, invoked morality. “We believe bobcats should be protected,” state Humane Society president Aubyn Royall said.
Licensed hunters and trappers in Colorado killed 1,978 bobcats last year, nearly three times the 680 killed in 2004, a majority for pelts, according to CPW records reviewed by The Denver Post. Annual U.S. exports of bobcat pelts top 30,000.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have identified robust prices for pelts as the motivation for the increased killing. Bobcat-fur coats made in China and Russia sell for tens of thousands of dollars. Records show licensed hunters and trappers in Colorado killed 1,978 bobcats last year, nearly three times the 680 killed in 2004.