While APNM’s state and federal lawsuits are still ongoing, the legal process can take months or years—and the cougar trapping carnage has now begun.
Starting November 1 of this year—for the first time in nearly five decades—millions of acres of New Mexico’s private and state trust lands are now open to cougar trapping until March 31, 2017.
This means everyone is at greater risk of stepping into cougar traps and snares, including nursing mother cougars and their kittens who are supposed to be protected under state regulations, as well as federally protected endangered species like Mexican wolves.
What kind of barbaric devices will now litter our state in large numbers? The traps contain a spring-loaded trigger that closes two steel jaws, which can spread up to approximately seven inches wide, around the leg of an animal that steps between the jaws. Snares use a coiled spring with a looped metal cable that cinches tightly around an animal’s foot. Captured animals often further injure themselves while thrashing or even chewing off their own trapped limb while trying to escape. Traps often go unchecked for long enough that the animal starves, dies of thirst or exposure, or is killed by another animal before being found.
Traps and snares are cruel and completely indiscriminate. Why does that matter?
- That matters when a healthy cougar population depends on mothers being able to raise their young into adulthood (orphaned cubs younger than six months have a 96% rate of death by starvation).
- That matters when the survival of an entire species can be jeopardized by even just one animal dying from a trap injury. For example, there are only about 97 Mexican wolves left in the world, and many of them live in New Mexico.
- That matters as New Mexico families and their dogs hike all over our beautiful lands, and can easily step into a trap, resulting in anguish, thousands of dollars in medical and/or veterinary bills, and sometimes maiming and even death of companion animals.
What Can You Do?
Support APNM’s legal efforts to stop this disastrous cougar trapping season: www.apnm.org/donate