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BMP Meeting Report, Brevard, N.C., Feb 8-11, 2016
Attendees at this BMP meeting include: Chair John Erb (MN); Don MacLaughlin (AFWA); Bryant White (AFWA); Matt Peek (KS); Laura Palmer (KY); Tom Deliberto (APHIS); Greg Waters (GA); John Olson (WI); Jonathon Gilbert (Native Americans); Jay Butfiloski (SC); Pat Jackson (NV); Colleen Olfenbuttel (NC); Geriann Albers (NC); Casey Gray (NC); Dave Hastings (FTA); Rich Friedrich and Tom Krause (NTA) & Charles Sanders, NC Research Student. Appearing by phone conferences included Tom Seaton (AK) and Tom Decker (FWS).
The meeting occurred at the Pisgah Wildlife Education Center near Brevard, N.C. Travel and other cost for the meeting is paid for by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA). Feb 8 and Feb 11 are travel days.
It was noted the National Journal of Environmental Studies has published positive information about how trapping performs important roles in professional wildlife management recently.
It was also noted a new Wildlife Society publication has a favorable chapter included on the role of trapping in wildlife management.
Tom Decker has been involved in the updating of a trapping education publication that has printed and circulated 50,000 copies through various state game agencies. It is also available online from the AFWA website.
The arctic fox bmp is now accomplished any may be published in a professional journal.
The last of 22 species for trapping bmps is now only wolverines. Due to the inherent logistical problems doing trapping research for this species, we are now negotiating with Canada on a joint venture to capture the sample size needed to discover the performance of trap types. It may be necessary to trap some wolverines, adapt them to a compound environment, and test one or more traps for strike locations and times to death. Some computer modeling may be necessary.
The Canadians are pleased for us to help in the funding of this research, as it will be expensive and take some time. Our sense is the 330 Conibear or similar trap will offer the best times to death and efficiency, any may be the only type trap that can be affordably tested. Because we desire to complete a bmp for wolverines, and do not seem to have a better alternative, we are agreeable to this joint venture if the details and costs are appropriate.
Under a multi-state conservation program administered by AFWA, three surveys are now in various states of development. One queried 7000 trappers on the use of trap types now is use (and doesn’t include traps also in ownership), and results of this survey are expected in mid-March, 2016. It is thought this survey will demonstrate how well bmp traps are being accepted into usage today as compared to the last survey in 2004.
All 50 states are being surveyed to discover their focus and any changes in how trapping is occurring also since 2004. This survey will include 120 questions, which have not been determined to date. It is expected this survey will take several months to complete.
The third survey is to assess needs, professional development and how trapping might benefit each of 500 National Wildlife Refuges. (Some allow trapping, some do not). This survey will also occur this year, and cause NWR managers to revisit their refuge purposes and programs.
“Trapping Matters”, one day professional development and communications workshops designed for state agency professionals are events completed or planned for the southeast AFWA, north-east AFWA, IHEA, and Oregon, The Wildlife Society, and Max McGraw wildlife center this year.
Three day fur schools are also being planned by AFWA to develop wildlife professionals for experiences benefitting public education and communications. These events have been completed so far in NY, WI & ID, and area upcoming in NY, WI, ID, KY and possibly GA.
The Wildlife Society statement on trapping has been updated and is available at tws.org. It now includes trapping bmp language to support development and use of bmp approved traps.
Matt Peek reported a technical bulletin on body gripping killing traps is completed with our reviews, and may be available soon either as a white paper on the AFWA website, or possibly considered for publication in a journal. The paper will explore how these traps might be made to be more selective when used on dryland.
Considering the status of black bears as an Appendix II species under the Endangered Species Act, it was determined there was no practical reason to try to make CITES tags available for possible black bear pelt export. 44,000 black bears are harvested in the U.S. annually, export amounts to average 12 pelts annually, costs of $100 and time of 5-6 weeks for permit issuance and pelt prices of less than $100 discourage any international marketing efforts from the U.S.
This laborious process has to be used for black bear researchers to send hair samples to Canada for DNA analysis as no U.S. labs offer this service to the biological community. This is just one more absurdity resulting from a seriously flawed CITES act.
Concerning the arctic fox bmp, three traps were tested and all performed well. The traps tested and passing include the #1 padded coilspring, # 1 ½ padded coilspring, and a Tomahawk #207 cage trap. Efficiency exceeded 90% on all traps and cumulative trauma scores were less than 10 points on all tested traps as well.
Considered for testing in 2016 include further testing with the MB 650 for wolves as results from two previous tests were greatly varied in spite of the same traps used in both tests.
New beaver cage type traps added as a result of Canadian testing now include the Koro Clam, Comstock, and Ezee Set. (For your information, Canadian tested traps are only included in our bmps if we have access to their raw data which must them be measured against our bmp performance categories & statistical confidence levels).
New traps now approved for coyote include Duke #3 padded two coiled, and Bridger #3 padded two coiled.
A wolf trap approved by Canada and not the U.S. is the Bridger Braun #9 (padded). There are serious concerns of the U.S. over safety issues with this trap.
Also approved this past year in Canada are 15 body-gripping traps for various species, but the U.S. will have to look at and compare their raw data before further consideration can be made for U.S. bmp inclusion.
No decisions were made on whether this group should get involved in testing methods, conformity or performance of break-a-way devices on bmp traps known as cable restraints. A publication of the ND Game and Fish Department and authored by Rick Tischaefer and John Olson was circulated to attendees. It is a 46 page well illustrated catalog of using and testing cable devices used to trap animals.
Some new assignments include Tom Decker as committee chair for Research and Outreach subgroups; Colleen Olfenbuttel was added as Research Sub-committee chair, and Matt Peek as Outreach sub-committee chair. Dave Hasting was added to the Outreach Committee and Rick Friedrich to the wolverine ad hoc group.
It was further determined there was no interest in development of a mountain lion bmp. Friedrich gave a NTA report focused on the ID lynx ruling, Hastings reported on FTA products including their fur college and dvd education products. He reported FTA is now promoting trapping bmps.
With no further business, the bmp meeting adjourned Wednesday afternoon, February 10th.