Nevada Bobcat Trapping Season Shortened

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RENO (AP) - Nevada wildlife commissioners voted today to shorten
the state's bobcat trapping season amid concerns by wildlife advocates that the fur's popularity may be causing overtrapping of
the species.

Commissioners unanimously accepted a Nevada Department of Wildlife staff recommendation to shorten the season from Dec. 1 to Feb. 19, a 32 percent reduction from the current four-month season.

The action, taken at a meeting in Lovelock, comes as wildlife advocates are urging Western states to scale back trapping, particularly in Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming, which have the region's highest number of bobcats killed and no trapping quotas.

They fear high pelt prices may be adversely affecting bobcat numbers.

Nevada wildlife officials say the shorter trapping season is necessary because fewer kittens were born in the last two years.

They say the kitten numbers are down because of drought and lack of prey, not because of overtrapping.

But wildlife advocates say bobcats have taken a "hammering" in Nevada because of high pelt prices, and trapping quotas would be more effective in reducing the number of cats killed.

According to the state wildlife department, trappers in Nevada bagged 10,260 bobcats from 2006 to 2009.