Public Stands Against Bobcat Trapping Near Joshua Tree

Last winter the discovery that bobcats were being targeted by trappers around Joshua Tree National Park ignited a call to ban the practice in the state. Residents who live next to the park are banning together and pushing to protect these cats from the fur trade.

Unfortunately, trapping bobcats in California is perfectly legal from November through January, and while the bobcat population isn’t in danger (yet), the disappearances of some of them from the landscape have saddened and angered those living in the area. However, they have also brought them together in a fight for the passage of a bill that would protect bobcats from trappers.

“It literally became the world against Joshua Tree,” Tom O’Key, who found the first trap on his land earlier this year, told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. “I would say it has been one of the most significant things to come to the community at large, and one of the biggest binders of people of opposite interests.”

In February, park biologist Michael Vamstad told the LA Times that, “Residents have every right to be upset. The fact that there is no limit on bobcats that can be legally taken during hunting season doesn’t jibe along the edges of a national park. It’s a relic regulation.”

The Bobcat Protection Act, AB 1213, would require trappers to stop trapping around Joshua Tree immediately, create a buffer zone around the park and ban traps on private land without the owner’s permission.

While residents are hoping to save their four-legged neighbors, hunters are fighting for their right to continue to kill them and sell their pelts at fur auctions for top markets in China, Russia and Korea, among other places, which can bring in anywhere from $200 to $1,700. State officials believe the number of bobcats killed has risen from around 600 four years ago to nearly 1,500 last year. The rising value of pelts has bobcat advocates concerned that even more will be killed.

Trapping and killing bobcats for their fur isn’t just inhumane, removing a top predator also has the potential to cause a negative impact on the ecosystem. Taking one who is loved by the public could also have a negative effect on ecotourism. An estimated 1.4 million people visit Joshua Tree every year to enjoy the landscape and catch a glimpse of the wild animals who call it home, while only a small handful of individuals have trapping licenses.

Fortunately, the bill is making progress. It passed the Assembly and now goes on to the Senate appropriations committee, which is scheduled to hear it on August 12.


Please sign and share the petition urging California’s Senate protect Joshua Tree’s resident bobcats by passing AB 1213.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven12 days ago

thanks for the article.

Mark D.
Mark D.2 years ago

This bill was passed, but the bill like some stupid exercise in political correctness. It prohibits trapping in "zones" around national parks.. what does that mean? And as long as these trapper criminals "get permission" from a landowner they can spread their chaos, torture and murder anywhere on that land. What should be passed here is a blanket ban on ""trapping" and enforced protection of the bobcat - no more federal or state approval of terrorism by trapper scum.

Kayleigh Harter
Kayleigh Harter2 years ago

I cannot believe trapping animals for fur is still legal. Hunting for food and survival is one thing, but trapping an animal to sell its pelt is just depraved and serves no purpose but greed.

Rebecca G.
Rebecca G.2 years ago

When will people get over their greed and leave the animals alone. God put them on Earth for a reason, and it is not our right to kill them. As or for the "fur industry", it is a cruel, barbaric, outdated practice and should be dissolved. LEAVE THE ANIMALS ALONE!

Carrie-Anne Brown

already signed but thanks for sharing :)

Bu M.
P M.2 years ago

All trapping MUST be outlawed. It is such a cruel way to die. Then you have the jerks in the FWS who allow their dogs to further torment a trapped animal & kill it.

Tania S.
Tania S.2 years ago

I hope it can get passed

Gabriela Baldaia
Gabriela Baldaia2 years ago

I've just signed and shared.

Linda Barnett
Linda Barnett2 years ago

Hands off! The Bobcats are a precious part of the ecosystem and must not be killed for any reason. Bobcats today, who will be on the list tomorrow? Education is invaluable and those who shun being educated are basically ignorant and kill for the fun of it. Think of the world as a wheel with cogs, take out a cog - big mistake! Nature is pretty wonderful, but at the same time, cruel, but that is how things are and man must not, and cannot, interfere.

Ginette Arseneault

I PRAY that trapping and hunting becomes ILLEGAL...Worldwide...These actions are DEFINITELY the work of cowards...Why kill these Beautiful Sentient Beings...???...Do you honestly think that you look handsome or beautiful...WEARING DEAD FUR AND SKIN...Think AGAIN...???...!!! look ugly and idiotic...!!!...ONLY LIVING ANIMALS LOOK BEAUTIFUL IN THEIR FUR AND SKIN...!!!...STOP THE KILLING...ONE DAY when you least expect it Karma is GOING TO BITE your hateful butt...???...!!!...and do not forget that your special place is reserved for you in h***...!!!...I can not wait for that day to arrive...!!!