Vermont river otters face additional threats due to a proposal to extend otter trapping season!
Protect Our Wildlife has been fighting a trapper's proposal that seeks to expand bobcat and otter trapping seasons, since last fall. Thankfully, the trapper's request to expand bobcat trapping season was denied (by a narrow margin), but both the Fish & Wildlife Department and Board - that's comprised of all hunters/trappers - support expanding the otter trapping season through the end of March.
Many of us would prefer to not see otters trapped at all. Otters are typically trapped in body crushing traps known as ConibearTM traps and their fur is sold at auction, likely ending up in Russia and China.
Otters are listed in Vermont as Species of Greatest Conservation Need, meaning that there are new threats to the future of their populations and need to be closely monitored. The Fish & Wildlife Department states on their website that the current season, which ends on the last day of February, is in place due to concerns over killing birthing otters in March, thereby placing their pups in danger.
POW represents members who are biologists, wildlife photographers, avid kayakers, wildlife educators and many others who value the presence of otters on our waterways, yet our interests are routinely ignored while the interests of those who trap seem to take priority.
YOU CAN HELP!
SIGN POW’S PETITION • ATTEND AN UPCOMING PUBLIC HEARING
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Senior Ecologist, Dr. Weldon Bosworth, a consultant who has spent many years of his life evaluating the environmental impact of wildlife, with a specialty in ecological risk assessment, significantly helped the state of New Hampshire maintain the ban on their proposal to extend the hunting and trapping of bobcats within this last year.
Dr. Bosworth wrote a letter with regard to his professional opinion on this issue, and adamantly opposes the proposal to extend the 'season' to trap these animals.
A letter to the VT Fish and Wildlife Department and Board from Dr. Weldon Bosworth:
TOGETHER WE TRULY DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!