LETTER: Bobcats still need protection
Global News recently showcased a story of a bobcat treed by two coyotes. This certainly is not an unusual event to those who have hunted the bobcat with hounds but the story did capture the awe and respect that this elusive nocturnal predator demands.
The bobcat is a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) animal and although not endangered in BC the listing demands thoughtful, prudent management. As a result of CITES, all bobcat kills must be reported.
Recently the bag limit for bobcat hunters has increased from one to five in spite of the evidence that will not support this increase. Wildlife population estimates are at best art and science and should be used with caution especially for CITES animals but the bobcat like many other animals is a victim of an aggressive political agenda of increasing hunting opportunity which has consistently discounted responsible due diligence.
Currently the price for bobcat pelts on the fur market is high and unfortunately for the bobcat he is relatively easy to trap compared to the coyote and wolf. Aggressive trappers can negatively impact the animal on their trap line.
It is a difficult struggle for young bobcats to survive in winter and as a consequence they are not an uncommon sight in barns, chicken coups and in backyards hunting whatever they can kill to survive; many of these bobcats are killed and not reported. Road kill deer were often the difference of life and death but with the province’s deer herd in steep population decline the bobcat is forced to endure a more difficult journey thanks to a government who does not know the meaning of statutory responsibility when managing the province’s wildlife resource.