2.To compete for space
3.Promoting general good health in all populations.
basically the main reason for fur trapping is strictly economics - monetary
gain. But it is not the money, for the financial gains are small, that
attracts the professional trapper – it’s the way of life. Alone on a
distant trap line, or along a farmland stream, a trapper seeks freedom and
meaning in his/her lifestyle. Obviously if they were unable to make any money
from fur they would be unable to subsist in this way.
the fur money goes to is often overlooked. The money goes to the grass roots -
the lower income peoples - the farmers, ranchers, hunters, trappers, etc...
Sure a hundred dollars for a huge pile of work doesn't mean much to the
average person, but it adds up and can be a multi-million dollar asset - to
any society. To us it means food on the table, which may include a little
beaver... It is this income group that all those above live on ... but
remember this does not cancel the need for humane traps.
predation studies have shown links that directly relate the amount of domestic
predation to predator numbers trapped. It has been apparent that when coyote
trapping decreased drastically (due mostly to low prices) that sheep and lamb
predation increased significantly. Coyotes and Raccoon often live in cities,
the raccoons surviving on garbage and the coyotes on garbage and cats.
Preliminary data has shown predator trapping in study areas increases wildfowl
nest success to that of adjoining areas. Raccoons can ravage corn crops. A
mink or badger in a chicken coup can kill and entire flock in one night. Bears
can cause havoc in many areas. The list is very long.
even though we would not have to hunt or trap the wild species for food or
pelage, we must compete for space. Showing that even if fur markets are lost,
there would continue to be a great deal of trapping. Indeed the farmer and
rancher must expect some amount of loss to wildlife, but to what extent. We as
humans can see this and think - the elk or even beaver are very thick this
year, I'll take a few extra. On the other hand when we take a few extra
predators we can enhance prey species. By hunting or trapping we can share
with our wild relatives and coexist with a greater ease, because these
interactions will not stop, in fact they will no doubt increase.
does not have a brain to direct it - if food is plentiful a species may
increase ... even to a point where it is detrimental to another species or
itself. Hence there is a secondary method of controlling animal populations -
when predator/prey interactions cannot. This is widespread disease and
starvation - gruesome deaths at best.
'pro-fur' individuals will also point this out - that death in nature is far
from humane. While I believe this to be true, I do not believe that this
should be an excuse for our inhumane practices and therefore only mention it
we help in these situations? The Canadian trapping structure is a good model
for a working system. Most trapping is done on Registered trap lines - fairly
large tracts of land that a single trapper is responsible for. In this area
he/she has no competition and so can
keep the populations at viable levels - it is to their benefit. The Registered
trapper knows what and how many animals there are on their lines. They see the
tracks, hear the sounds, spot the beaver ponds and muskrat houses and know the
signs allowing them to take measures accordingly. Extremely simplistic, this
scenario demands other variables be taken into account (eg. Cesar, Logtraps,
size, other predators and prey, etc.) but, it is a starting point. Biologists
looking at many trap lines and the hunting harvest can spot indicators and
trends helping the trapper by setting quotas. Thus by properly cropping - we
can promote general good health in all populations.
children ask the question "Won't all the animals trapped go extinct
...", I usually give them the following general example as a basis:
a small valley on a trap line and say there are 20 marten in the valley. Now
this is the average number - remember that. Then I ask the children if there
are 10 females and each has a litter of 4 each year ... how many, on the
average, will there be next year? You can see some pretty perplexed children
when I tell them the answer is ... 20.
I trap 6 marten from that valley every year, how many marten will there be the
following year? Again the answer is ... 20.
can this be so? Well, it is because the predators and prey are interdependent
- every year most of the young and many of the old marten will die, whether it
be by owls, starvation, or the trapper. Fur, though, cannot be stockpiled, so
if I don't trap that valley for 4 years that doesn't mean that the next year I
can take 5 times as many. The habitat in that valley will support only so many
animals - in this case 20, any extras will die.
do not eat marten or weasel but its flesh is left to the birds, canines, mice
and shrews to travel down the food chain. The pelage has little food value,
but even if just used for vanity, it is useful.