State Calls For New and More Cruel Ways to Kill!
Please Act Now to Protect Our Wildlife

Get involved! Sign the petition to protect NM carnivores

New Mexico’s wildlife is facing their most dire circumstances in years and we need your help to stop the cruelty. After massive public outcry stopped an extreme and egregious attempt to strip all protections from NM’s cougar during the 2015 legislative session (reducing the animals to mere varmints that can be shot and trapped without consequence), cougar and bear are now coming under fire from New Mexico Game & Fish Department (NMDGF) proposals.


Speak out for New Mexico's cougars and bears at the Game Commission in Taos on Saturday, June 13.

Proposed revisions would allow cougars to be trapped and snared in certain areas. Not supported by science or ethical management approaches, these management changes for the native and rare big cat species (already hunted in NM) would mean an increase in the appallingly cruel and archaic practice of trapping. Further, more traps set for cougars would continue to undermine the safety of people and companion animals on public lands.

Additionally, new proposals from the department seek to increase the annual hunt quotas for black bears and, most appallingly, seem to allow for Spring bear hunts. Opening the Spring season for hunting will put unconscionable pressure on bears awaking from hibernation and particularly on female sow bears raising cubs.

The state Game Commission will hear public testimony on these proposals on June 13 in Taos, and is expected to issue a final vote on the management changes at its public meeting in Santa Fe on August 27. Time is running out to speak up for New Mexico’s bears and cougars.


Please act now:

  • Sign and share our new petition to the Governor’s Office against these egregious proposals.
  • Join us to testify in person in Taos on Saturday, June 13. The Game Commission meeting (agenda) begins at the Kachina Lodge Pow Wow Convention Center (413 Paseo del Pueblo Norte; map).
  • Write to the Game Commission to oppose these proposed revisions to the Bear & Cougar Rule. If you can’t attend a public meeting, be sure to weigh in with your opposition on the NMDGF website.
  • Write a letter to the editor voicing your opposition to increased cougar and bear hunting, especially the use of traps on cougars and the opening of a Spring bear hunt.

What to say:

New Mexico Department of Game & Fish is proposing changes that would inflict more cruelty on our cougars and bears. The NMDGF cannot prove these changes are necessary, instead they are violating their mission by proposing irresponsible wildlife management.

  • Since increasing the annual cougar harvest limit from 490 to 749 in 2010, hunters have not killed over 300 animals in a year. However, the department is claiming that the state must kill more cougar (including horrific deaths from traps) without being able to produce a scientifically defensible population estimate.
    NMDGF biologists have admitted publicly that they will not be able to produce any new population estimates (not actual counts, but assumptions based on habitat) before the Game Commission is due to issue a final vote on the new Bear & Cougar Rule. The department is asking the public and the Commission to go along with their proposals on blind faith and is behaving in an unethical and irresponsible manner.
  • Cougar and bear regulate their own population. Overexploitation through hunting, trapping, and other causes of death is likely to throw the animals’ social structure into disarray and increase conflicts with humans and livestock.

New Mexicans do not support increased take of cougar and bear, and are especially opposed to trapping of cougar and Spring bear hunts. (NOTE: On June 3, the Game Commission issued a list of proposals to be considered at their meeting on June that doesn’t include trapping of cougar on public lands—but would eliminate the permit required for private landowners to trap cougar—and the Spring bear season. Nonetheless, these recommendations are still being promoted by the Game & Fish Department.)

  • New Mexicans are fed up with our Game & Fish Department lethally exploiting native species on behalf of special interests, including the livestock industry and outfitters. These proposals wreak havoc on the animals and our entire ecosystem, affecting not only these special interests but all New Mexicans. We call upon Governor Martinez and the New Mexico Game Commission to oppose these cruel and indefensible proposals.
  • The Albuquerque Journal issued two strong editorials in May 2015 calling upon the Game Commission to dismiss the proposals for cougar trapping and an increased bear hunt, and urged them to focus on real science instead (read and share the editorials here and here).
  • No other state manages wildlife in the manner that NMDGF is proposing. Only in Texas, where cougars are unprotected “varmint” species, is trapping of the animals legal.

For more information, including how you can get involved in standing up for NM’s wild animals, contact APNM’s Wildlife Campaign Manager at or (505) 265-2322 x31.


Sign the petition to protect New Mexico's cougars and bears!

Trap Free New Mexico coalition letter to Game Commission (5/1/15)

Albuquerque Journal, "Editorial: NM can’t get caught up in plan to expand cruel traps" (5/5/15)

Albuquerque Journal, “Bear Hunt Limits May Be Increased” (5/26/15)

Add your voice to the call to protect New Mexico's wildlife!

We, the undersigned citizens of New Mexico, call upon the New Mexico Game Commission and Governor Susana Martinez to oppose increased trapping of cougars as well as increased bag limits and methods of killing in cougar & bear hunting by both New Mexico citizens and tourists.

[Download this petition in PDF to print and share!]

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