Trapping has been touted by New Mexico Department of Game and Fish staff as a “legitimate” and “valuable” wildlife management tool. However, the type and scope of trapping is never specified nor are the reasons stated for its necessity. There are no management plans for any trapped species, no stated goals, and no monitoring whether goals are being met, particularly for trapping by private individuals.
The Department does not know the locations nor the number of traps set each year. Recreational and commercial trapping meets no known definition of the term “management” at all. Moreover, the majority of species trapped in New Mexico are self-regulating—populations are kept balanced by biological carrying capacity, social structures, and the establishment and defense of territories.
Touting private, recreational trapping as a wildlife “management tool” is disingenuous at best. We deserve better.