Furbearer Management Resources

Experts from all 50 state fish and wildlife agencies and other conservation groups that care about the environment, natural resources and animal welfare are working together to improve and modernize the technology of trapping through scientific research.


Report on Trapping Matters Workshops and Fur Schools
In partnership with the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and with funding through the Wildlife Restoration program (through grants administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration), AFWA recently completed a number professional development workshops on regulated trapping. The focus of the workshops is to give wildlife professionals the tools they need to effectively communicate with the public and other user groups about the importance of regulated trapping in wildlife management. This report summarizes the latest efforts.

Survey of State Trapping Regulations and BMP Use
Trapping is a heavily regulated activity in the United States. In a continuous effort to understand the full scope and breath of this activity across the North America, surveys have intermittently been conducted by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. A “Summary of Trapping Regulations for Fur Harvesting in the United States and Canada” was originally conducted by the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Furbearer Resources Technical Subcommittee in 1995. A second iteration was conducted in 2007. Throughout the evolution of this survey, trapping devices and methods, as well as the regulations that guide them have undergone changes. The annual regulated harvest of wild furbearers occurs under the conditions set forth in regulations promulgated within each state. The summary data of furbearer trapping regulations contained in this report were gathered during the summer/fall of 2016 in an effort to examine current laws for the harvest of 26 species of furbearers by regulated trapping throughout the United States. The survey contains 247 questions. Response rate to the survey was 100%. Some responses were more thorough than others which added to the length of this survey.

Bodygrip Traps on Dryland: A Guide to Responsible Use
This document, Bodygrip Traps on Dryland: A Guide to Responsible Use , is primarily intended to be a reference guide summarizing techniques and recommendations for improving the selectivity of bodygrip traps. Policy-makers and other interested individuals will find the information valuable for making informed decisions about bodygrip trap use. We hope this document is also a useful addition to trapper education programs. Although this document contains the best available information on methods to improve selectivity of bodygrip traps, there have been few formal studies on the effects of these methods on trap selectivity or efficiency. As such, we hope this document stimulates additional research and development of bodygrip trap systems. Depiction of, or reference to, specific traps does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. This document may be updated periodically, and updates will be posted on the AFWA website.

Awareness of and Public Attitudes Toward Trapping
Trapping is a critical wildlife management technique that is conducted in most states as a privilege allowed by the public. Understanding what the public thinks about trapping is important for developing effective communication and outreach to help sustain regulated trapping. This new report, based on a survey conducted for AFWA by Responsive Management, will help you understand those public attitudes.

Trapping and Furbearer Management in North American Wildlife Conservation
An Article in the International Journal of Environmental Studies
Furbearer Management in North America maintains wild furbearer populations at sustainably harvestable, scientifically determined and socially acceptable levels. Furbearer management impacts numerous wildlife populations and habitats, and human health, safety and property. Achieving balance in the management of furbearers is not always an easy task partly because regulated trapping, a controversial management technique, plays a critical role in this balance. Steps have been taken by wildlife professionals to improve the humaneness of trapping through the development of international standards used to evaluate traps. These efforts will ideally preserve trapping and the many roles it plays in furbearer management and wildlife management in general.

National Furbearer Harvest Statistics Database
Updated annually, the National Furbearer Harvest Statistics Database presents furbearer harvest statistics from state agencies dating from 1970. (Updated 3/7/16)

Trap Use, Furbearers Trapped, and Trapper Characteristics in the United States in 2015
This latest report provides information on trapping in the United States. Within it’s pages you will find out what species of furbearers are most commonly sought, the types of traps currently being used to capture them and a wealth of other information on traps, trapping and trappers.

Trapping Communications Key Messages Card
This printable card features quick tips for effectively communication about trapping to help preserve our nation's trapping heritage.

Modern Snaring Technology White Paper
This white paper details state-of-the-art modern snaring technologies and explains how they can be used to produce the best animal welfare results.

Web-based National Trapper Education Program
AFWA's National Trapper Education Program was developed collaboratively with state and federal agencies as well as trapping experts from around the country to provide an online mechanism for states to certify trappers using consistent national content standards and learning objectives.

Trapper Education Student Manual 
This trapper education student manual developed by AFWA teaches basic trapping techniques with a strong focus on the responsible treatment of animals, legal methods, safety, selectivity and ethical trapper behavior.

Ownership and Use of Traps by Trappers in the U.S. in 2004
The goal of this study was to gain a better understanding of trappers, their equipment and their techniques for taking furbearing species. It provides information to allow informed decisions on regulations, ISO standards, trapper education and trap testing.

Summary of Trapping Regulations for Fur Harvesting in the U.S. in 2007
The summary information presents conditions and restrictions that were current within existing state laws governing U.S. at the time the survey was conducted in 2007.

Trapping and Furbearer Management in North American Wildlife Conservation
The newly updated 6th edition of this document is a compilation of the knowledge, insights and experiences of professional wildlife biologists who are responsible for the conservation of wildlife resources throughout the U.S. and Canada.

How to Avoid Incidental Take of Lynx While Trapping or Hunting Bocats and Other Furbearers
The purpose of this publication is to help achieve the goal of reducing injury and mortality to the Threatened Canada lynx population in the contiguous U.S., which may occur as a result of hunting or trapping bobcats and other furbearers.

Potential Costs of Losing Hunting and Trapping
To help the public and the media understand the need for regulated public hunting and trapping, this report presents trends on nuisance wildlife and associated damages with explanations on how hunting and trapping can help maintain healthy and acceptable wildlife populations. 

Insutry & Trade Summary: Furskins
A summary  by the United States International Trade Commission that covers the U.S. Industry and certain foreign industries of furskins, raw and tanned or dressed, dyed or not dyed over the period of 1998-2002.

Improving Animal Welfare in Trapping 
This report summarizes the results of the "first steps" of efforts of the Subcommittee and the working group to identify, complie, and synthesize data to conceptualize and design processes for improving trapping and the welfare of trapped animals in the U.S.


Regulated Trapping and Furbearer Management in the U.S.
This 15-minute video presents the wildlife agency pespective on regulated trapping and furbearer management.

Trapping Matters
A two-part video that presents an overview of regulated trapping and furbearer management for use in hunter education courses.

To request copies of the videos, contact Bryant White at bryant.white@mdc.mo.gov 


North American Trapper Education Program
AFWA's online national trapper education program

Professional outlook on trapping and furbearer management

The Fur Institute of Canada
Excellence in the conservation and sustainable development of Canada's fur resources

The National Trappers Association
Promotes sound conservation, legislation and administrative procedures

USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Wildlife Service
Provides federal leadership in managing problems caused by wildlife

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Provides federal leadership in the conservation of fish, wildlife and their habitats.




©2017 | Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

State Agencies' Social Media | Contact Us | Careers | Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Trust Funds | Terms + Privacy | Photos | Success Stories