Author Topic: NTA Conservation Directors report  (Read 1883 times)

Offline Humptulips

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NTA Conservation Directors report
« on: March 24, 2012, 09:54:55 AM »
 I thought this might interest you.


Jim Curran

One of most important and enjoyable meetings I recently attended representing trappers is the Technical Work Group of the Fur Resource Committee of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. In the past, we referred to this meeting as the BMP trap testing annual meeting. This meeting has been held yearly since the trap testing studies were implemented after the European  Union, twenty years ago, voted to stop the import of wild fur from the U.S., Canada and Russia if foot-hold traps were not prohibited. The Technical Working Group is made up of furbearer biologists from all the regions of the country as well as Tom Krause and me representing the NTA and Dave Hasting and Gary Jepson representing FTA.

This year’s meeting was held in Sacramento, California in early February. Those present for this meeting include Bryant White (AFWA staff), John Olson (WI), Timothy Hiller (OR), Laura Patton (KY), Michael Fall ((USDA/APHIS),  Jay Butifiloski (SC), Colleen Olfenbuttel (NC), Jesse Garcia (CA), Tom Seaton (AK), Frederick Winslow (NM), Greg Waters (GA),&  John Erb (MN). Trapper expertise was provided by Gary Jepson (FTA), Dave Hastings (FTA), Tom Krause (NTA), and Jim Curran (NTA). Many subjects were covered during the two day meeting. What the plan appears to be for the future is to evaluate many of the new traps that have been designed since this study started.

 Further research needs were prioritized for 2012-2013 including two traps for wolves (in western environments), cable restraints and the Jake #33 trap for coyotes, and the standard Montana  #1 ˝ and #1 ˝  four coiled Victor padded trap as a live restraining trap for otters and raccoons. A side study with the Jake trap for coyotes is also planned as a small current sample size needs to increase to support what appears to be another suitable trap for this species. 

Now that wolves are mostly delisted and under the management authority of some states, we learned of the various state plans to provide hunting and trapping seasons. MN, WI, MI, ID & MT all are in process of providing trapping and or hunting opportunities for this species by next fall.  Court challenges to management efforts are realistic to expect.

Concerning wolves, the preliminary data from the US shows the Livestock Protection Company (LPC 4 trap with offset jaws and Paw-i-trip pan) passes. Testing is underway at present with the Minnesota Brand (MB 750) and necropsies have yet to be performed for test results. We have a sample size of 32 wolves taken in the MB 750, which is adequate. Traps that have passed in Canadian tests for wolves include the Belisle footsnare #8 and the Oneida Victor #3 softcatch (4 coiled). Currently being tested on wolves in Canada are the Rudy Red Wolf trap, and the Bridger #5. Canada also plans to test the MB 750 rubber jaw, LPC 7 EZ Grip, Rudy Red Wolf and Bridger AK #5 on wolves in the east. In the west, Canada plans to test to Koro Wolf trap, LPC #8 EZ Grip, and Bridger #9.

Nathan Roberts of the USFWS spoke of the issues concerning Convention in Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) tagging of river otters, bobcats and a possible need to also tag black bears to allow for the export of black bear skins. 47 states are now reporting river otters are either stable or increasing. New Mexico now has a viable population due to natural dispersion and reintroductions. Roberts reported the U.S. has one more year to go in a five year “no detriment finding” for river otters, but the expectation is the pelts may continue to be tagged into the future because the tagging effort is supported by some states for information gathering motives. Black bears are not currently tagged for pelt exports, and the species is listed under CITES Appendix II under a “similarity in appearance” clause because they may look similar to the endangered Asiatic Black Bear. This is not thought to be a high priority item as black bears are managed as trophy animals in most states, and do not typically enter the fur trade as numbers and prices offered are not significant. Many additional topics were presented concerning trapper education programs, the training of additional veterinarians to conduct future necropsy testing and the development of a white paper concerning non-target exclusion ideas for body-gripping traps on land.

Besides keeping our fur markets open in Europe, this 15 year BMP study has produced information to protect our right to trap for years to come if all of us really understand the results. Every trapper should review the BMP information on the AFWA website www.fishwildlife/ and become familiar with the introduction and result reports. This information if presented to the public by all of us is scientific proof that the lies put out by the anti’s concerning the cruel steel trap is nothing but invalid propaganda. Another point that makes all of these studies so important is the fact that trap manufactures have been developing new devises and modernizing old designs to meet the approved humane trap standards. It is all of our responsibility to educate our legislators and general public, every chance we can on all of the true facts regarding traps and their humanness.

I will be attending the North American Wildlife Conference, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies meeting March 14th-17th in Atlanta, GA. I sit on the Sustainable Wildlife and International Relations Committees. In addition I will be attending the semi-annual American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP) meeting on March 17th. I will report on these meetings
Bruce Vandervort


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