Fur trade drives bobcat pelt prices up

Aug 15, 2006 by Julie Rose
KPCW.org, Salt Lake City

Utah DWR Considers Bobcat Management Plan

(KCPW News) State wildlife officials are working on Utah’s first-ever bobcat management plan, in response to a growing demand for bobcat pelts. Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman Kevin Bunnell says international interest is driving the harvest.

“My understanding is it’s trade from China really driving the interest,” says Bunnell.

China is a leading exporter of fur clothing, and a major processing base for fur trade. Bunnell says about 1,500 bobcats are trapped and killed in Utah each year and their pelts can sell for upwards of $300.

Bobcat pelt prices and demand have been at a high for five years, according to Bunnell. Despite that high, he says Utah’s bobcat population is healthy.

Still, the Utah Wildlife Board is eager to establish a plan to adjust the length of the season or put a cap on trapping permits if the bobcat population starts to decrease. The Board meets Thursday to consider the proposal.

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