Furbearer Management and Best Management Practices for Trapping

About the Furbearer Management and Best Management Practices for Trapping Program:

The purpose of AFWA's Furbearer Management and Best Management Practices for Trapping Program (BMPs) is to improve regulated trapping by evaluating trapping devices and techniques used for the capture of furbearers and educating those who use traps about the most humane, safe, selective, efficient and practical devices.  Traps are evaluated using standards and protocols developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).  Since the inception of this program in 1997, over 600 trap types have been evaluated for 23 species of furbearers with a North American investment of some $40 million dollars. 

Trapping Matters:

Regulated trapping is used by State, Federal and Tribal agencies to manage wildlife and their habitats, and it provides many benefits to people.  Protecting endangered species during vulnerable life-cycle periods (e.g. sea turtles, island and ground nesting birds), reintroducing populations (e.g., river otters; gray, red and mexican wolves; beavers), scientifically monitoring animal population size and health, providing relief to the public from property damage (e.g., livestock, agriculture, forestry, infrastructure), protecting public health and safety (e.g., rabies, flooding) and insuring that resources are used responsibly are some of the many ways agencies use trapping.  Trapping is highly regulated by agencies through scientifically based laws, rules and regulations that are strictly enforced by wildlife conservation officers.  Animal populations are carfefully monitored with trapping so that trapping does not cause species to become endangered.  In fact,  only abundant species of wildlife are trapped and its use helps promote healthy population levels.  Those who participate in trapping are required to have a trapping or hunting license and education for trappers is provided in all States.  Wildlife biologists, the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians and the  American Veterinary Medical Association support the use of trapping in wildlife managment, as does the vast majority of the public and many other conservation organizations.

Introduction to BMPs for Trapping
Canada Lynx
Coyote (Eastern)
Coyote (Western)
Fox (Arctic)
Fox (Gray)
Fox (Red)
Fox (Swift and Kit)
Ringtail (Bassarisk)
River Otter

Key Publications on Regulated Trapping, Furbearer Management and BMPs:

Trapping and Furbearer Management in North American Wildlife Conservation booklet
Potential Costs of Losing Hunting and Trapping
Modern Snares for Capturing Furbearers
Trapping and Furbearer Management (International Journal of Environmental Studies, 72:5, pp. 756-769)
New Guidelines for Furbearer Trapping (The Wildlife Professional. 2010. Vol. 4 No.3. pp. 66-71)
Bodygrip Traps on Dryland: A Guide to Responsible Use
Trappers as Citizen Scientists (The Wildlife Professional.2016. Vol.10 No.2. pp.30-33)

Trapper Education:

North American Trapper Education Program
North American Trapper Education Manual
Trappers and Social Media
Key Messages For Trappers
How to Avoid the Incidental Take of Wolverine
How to Avoid the Incidental Take of Canada Lynx

Surveys & Reports:

Trap Use, Furbearers Trapped, and Trapper Characteristics in the U.S. in 2015
Awareness of and Attitudes Toward Trapping, 2016
2016 Summary of State Furbearer Trapping Regulations
Public Attitudes Toward Trapping Survey Report Brochure
State Trapping Regulations Survey Report Brochure
Trapping Matters and Fur Schools Summary Report 2015-2017
US Furbearer Harvest Statistics Database 1970-2015

AFWA Staff:

Bryant White