By Deborah Frazier
Rocky Mountain News
The Colorado Trappers Association wants permission to capture and kill additional species, a move its says could prevent the animals from being listed as endangered.
The Colorado Wildlife Commission will consider the request today. A similar request was rejected several years ago.
The species include the swift fox, which had been a candidate for the endangered species list, gray fox, pine marten, weasels, opossum, mink, ring-tailed cats and Western spotted skunks.
“We want to trap them to determine how many there are,” said Marvin Miller of the Colorado Trappers Association.
Tom Remington, section manager for terrestrial species at the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said some of the species have healthy populations, but there was little information on others.
“If we needed the information, we would live trap and release,” he said. “We appreciate the offer, but the small amount of information they could provide wouldn’t help much.”
He said mink, gray fox and ring- tailed cats were known to be low in numbers. “If any of the species were in dire enough straits to be candidates for endangered species listing, why would we allow trapping?” said Remington.
Miller said Colorado has so many swift fox, the state was collecting them to reintroduce the species to South Dakota.
More than a dozen wildlife groups oppose the request.