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“By-Catch”, “Non-Target”, “Incidental Take”: What are the Impacts of Trapping?

This past year WU campaigned hard for our four legged family members, and they will remain a face of Wyoming Untrapped. This year, you can expect to see more faces of Wyoming Untrapped, including four-leggeds of the wild variety. Our mission has always been, and always will be, to create a safer environment for people, pets, and wildlife. Trapping doesn’t just have a profound impact on our canine family members— it impacts all too many of the living things that enliven the beautiful Wyoming landscapes that surround us.

We are continually gathering information on trapping in Wyoming. We hope to shine a spotlight on the oft overlooked (and frequently incomplete) data on harvest numbers, by-catch, and endangered species impacts. In doing so, we hope to bring wildlife impacts to the forefront of the dialog surrounding trapping.

Below, you’ll find the first illustration of ‘non-target’ or ‘incidental take’ data obtained through a Wyoming Public Records Request. Some of the species most impacted as ‘non target’ include swift foxes, mountain lions, and mule deer. This information raises plenty of questions, especially since Wyoming appears, at first glance, to have a proportionally lower reporting rate than other states—meaning trappers may not be providing the vital information wildlife managers need. These reported incidents are only the non-targets we know about.

This year, WU will pursue answers to the questions current trapping regulations provoke, ranging from whether our endangered species are impacted by trapping to whether unlimited furbearer trapping is truly sustainable.

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