IHEA-USA WCO Education Standards

IHEA-USA WCO Education Standards


WCO Education Core Curriculum


This course content is designed for instruction and
assessment of technicians according to performance-based learning objectives
related to safe, legal, respectful, and responsible trapping, animal
containment and damage prevention and long-term animal damage control.


The course content is designed to train people about
wildlife control options and


  • to foster a desire for advanced training in
    trapping and animal damage control,
  • emphasize the importance of continuing
    education,
  • and illustrate value of mentorship and social
    support to help others manage human-wildlife conflicts.


Understand the Reasons for WCO Education and provide a Justification for Trapping


Explain how/why WCO education is important


Understand the purpose, reason, and values that make WCO
education important.


The goal of WCO education is to train safe, competent, responsible,
respectful, and law-abiding WCOs. WCO education is important because it:


  1. Decreases negative animal control incidents.
  2. Promotes responsible trapping behavior,
    including compliance with laws and regulations, a strong focus on the
    responsible treatment of animals, and ethical WCO behavior.
  3. Focuses on best management practices for
    trapping which specify the most effective outdoor trapping techniques and give
    practical tips on being selective and efficient.
  4. WCO education promotes safe, legal and
    responsible behavior.


WCO’s play a role in wildlife conservation


Identify why WCOs and regulated wildlife control are
important to wildlife conservation.


  • WCOs are a source of financial support that
    benefits all wildlife species and help people solve human-wildlife conflicts.
  • WCOs advocate and support legislation that
    protects wildlife resources.
  • WCOs can assist wildlife agencies with essential
    data collection and management of some wildlife populations.
  • Professional WCOs provide a valuable service to
    the community.


Know the WCO’s Role in Wildlife Conservation according to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (NAM)


Recognize the central principles of the North American
Model of Wildlife Conservation.


  • Wildlife is a public resource
  • Markets for game are eliminated
  • Allocation of wildlife by law
  • Wildlife can only be killed for legitimate
    purposes
  • Wildlife species are considered an international
    resource
  • Science is the proper tool for discharge of
    wildlife policy
  • The democracy of hunting


A WCO’s Role in Wildlife Conservation can include:


  • Conservation funding for wildlife management,
  • habitat management
  • and WCO education


Describe how license fees and
excise taxes support wildlife conservation.


  • Wildlife management is funded largely by users
    who directly benefit from the resource. Two primary funding sources for
    wildlife management are:
    • Revenue generated for state natural resource
      agencies, including trapping, hunting, and fishing license fees.
    • Excise taxes on hunting equipment and ammunition
      from 1937 Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act.
    • Working with state agencies promotes professional
      behavior by legally paying the fees for licensing and depredation permits.


Wildlife Ecology and Management Principles


Basic factors of wildlife conservation


Describe how wildlife and habitat interact.


Factors that affect wildlife production and survival are :


  • climate,
  • reproductive potential of the species,
  • and quality and quantity of habitat.


Habitat is the most important factor affecting wildlife
survival. It can change over time through natural succession or management and
provides benefits to different species at different stages of growth. Habitat
loss can have permanent or lasting effects on wildlife populations. Many
wildlife are comfortable in urban/suburban environments. Understanding wildlife
ecology promotes professional behavior.


Know that the key components of wildlife habitat consists
of food, water, shelter/cover, space, and how these components are arranged.


Describe how carrying capacity, biological surplus, and
limiting factors affect the size of a population.


Biological carrying capacity is the number of animals of a
given species that an area can support without damage to the habitat.


Cultural carrying capacity is the number of animals the
public will tolerate. Biological surplus is the number of animals in a
population above the carrying capacity.


Biological basis of wildlife control


Limiting factors are factors that can alter population
growth. Examples include disease, predation, weather, and a lack of habitat.


Principles Biological and economic basis of wildlife
control


List positive and negative values of wildlife.


Positive values:


  • Wildlife act as predators and prey in
    functioning ecosystems.
  • Many people enjoy observing and photographing
    wildlife.
  • Wildlife can be a local, sustainable, and
    organic source for both food and clothing.
  • Trapping is valued by many people as part of
    their cultural heritage.
  • Potential economic gain from the use of furs and
    other furbearer products.


Negative values:


  • Excessive numbers of wildlife can harm habitats
    or prey upon rare/endangered animals.
  • Economic loss from property damage or livestock
    depredation caused by wildlife.
  • Wildlife can pose risks to humans and pets
    through exposure to diseases and parasites. Professional Behavior


Wildlife Identification


WCOs need Wildlife identification skills


Identify wildlife species and state the importance of learning
wildlife natural history. State resource agencies typically classify wildlife
species into several categories including big game, small game, upland game,
migratory game birds, furbearers, non-game and endangered/threatened/special
concern species.


Furbearers can be legally trapped in many areas. WCOs must
be able to properly identify their target species. Additionally, understanding
the habits and habitats of each species helps WCOs build better exclusionary controls,
locate good trapping locations and make successful sets.


Characteristics to consider when identifying wildlife
include:


  1. General description (shape, size , color, and
    distinguishing features)
  2. Range and preferred habitats
  3. Feeding habits, behaviors, and daily activity
    patterns
  4. Tracks, scat, calls, and other sign
  5. Damage identification
  6. Safety or disease issues


Safe Trap Handling, Trap types, characteristics, uses, and terminology


Describe the main characteristics of foothold traps.


  • Designed to catch and hold target animals by the
    foot, alive, and without injury as a land set.
  • Come in various sizes and strengths, each of
    which is appropriate for one or more specific species of wildlife. Specially
    modified forms include enclosed trigger traps, specifically designed to catch raccoons
    and avoid non-target species.
  • Advantages include versatility, small size, and
    the ability to release animals unharmed.
  • May also be used in submersion set to dispatch
    trapped animals.
  • Basic components include: a) jaws, b) pan, c)
    dog, d) baseplate, e) springs (and levers), f) chain and anchoring system.
    Safe, Legal, Professional Behavior


Describe the main characteristics of body gripping traps.


  • Designed to kill an animal quickly when one or
    two rotating jaws close on either side of the animal’s neck or chest.
  • May be set in both land and water locations,
    depending on regulations.
  • Must be carefully set to avoid non-target
    catches.
  • Basic components include: a) jaws, b) springs
    (and spring locks), c) trigger, d) dog, e) chain and anchoring system. Safe,
    Legal, Professional Behavior


Describe the main characteristics of cage/box traps.


  • Designed so that the animal enters a box or cage
    through a door that closes, preventing the animal from exiting.
  • May be used for multiple species, limited by the
    trap and door size
  • May be used on land or in submersion sets
  • Some styles (e.g., colony traps) may catch
    multiple animals in one setting.
  • Basic components include: a) cage, b) door(s)
    and door lock, c) treadle or trigger, d) trigger rod, e) handle and handle
    guard. Safe, Legal, Professional Behavior


Describe the main characteristics of cable devices.


  • Typically made of stranded steel cable with a
    one-way lock that is set in a manner so that a loop of cable encircles the
    animal’s body or limb and is drawn tight.
  • Can be used in a variety of set types on land
    and in water.
  • May be set for live capture or quick dispatch of
    targeted animal.
  • Typically set for neck catch, but some designed
    for foot catch.
  • Basic components include: a) cable, b) lock, c)
    stop, d) breakaway device, e) ferrules, f) dispatch spring, g) support and
    anchoring system.


Identify characteristics and modifications of foothold
traps and state their purpose. Foothold traps may be modified to be more
effective and cause less injury to captured animals.


  • Offset jaws have a space between the gripping
    surfaces of the jaws—typically 1/8 to 3/8 inches—when they are fully closed to
    improve animal welfare and increase holding strength.
  • Laminated or cast jaws improve efficiency and
    reduce injuries by creating a wider holding surface on the foot of the animal.
  • Double jaw traps use two metal jaw frames
    instead of one. One set of jaws is smaller and limits access to the restrained
    foot.
  • Padded foothold traps have rubber pads on the
    jaws to increase efficiency and reduce injuries.
  • Additional springs make traps faster and hold an
    animal more firmly.
  • Center-swivel chain on a reinforced baseplate of
    foothold traps reduces injury to the trapped animal and reduces the likelihood
    of escape. Legal, Professional Behavior


Safe Trap Handling Trap preparation


Describe how to prepare and tune traps for proper and
safe use.


New traps must be cleaned (degreased) and sharp edges should
be smoothed with a file. Adjust triggers, pan tension, and dogs as appropriate
for the target species. Traps may be dyed, dipped, painted, and waxed, but body
grip traps should never be waxed to avoid personal injury. Cable devices should
be inspected and may be dyed or painted. Used traps should be inspected and
maintained. Weak springs or other components may need to be replaced or
repaired. Chains and swivels must operate freely. Cables on cable devices
should be replaced after capturing an animal. Practice with traps (and safety
devices) to ensure they can be set lock, c)
stop, d) breakaway device, e) ferrules, f) dispatch spring, g) support and
anchoring system.


Identify characteristics and modifications of foothold
traps and state their purpose. Foothold traps may be modified to be more
effective and cause less injury to captured animals.


  • Offset jaws have a space between the gripping
    surfaces of the jaws—typically 1/8 to 3/8 inches—when they are fully closed to
    improve animal welfare and increase holding strength.
  • Laminated or cast jaws improve efficiency and
    reduce injuries by creating a wider holding surface on the foot of the animal.
  • Double jaw traps use two metal jaw frames
    instead of one. One set of jaws is smaller and limits access to the restrained
    foot.
  • Padded foothold traps have rubber pads on the
    jaws to increase efficiency and reduce injuries.
  • Additional springs make traps faster and hold an
    animal more firmly.
  • Center-swivel chain on a reinforced baseplate of
    foothold traps reduces injury to the trapped animal and reduces the likelihood
    of escape. Legal, Professional Behavior


Safe Trap Handling Trap preparation


Describe how to prepare and tune traps for proper and
safe use.


New traps must be cleaned (degreased) and sharp edges should
be smoothed with a file. Adjust triggers, pan tension, and dogs as appropriate
for the target species. Traps may be dyed, dipped, painted, and waxed, but body
grip traps should never be waxed to avoid personal injury. Cable devices should
be inspected and may be dyed or painted. Used traps should be inspected and
maintained. Weak springs or other components may need to be replaced or
repaired. Chains and swivels must operate freely. Cables on cable devices
should be replaced after capturing an animal. Practice with traps (and safety
devices) to ensure they can be set safely and quickly in the field. Safe,
Professional Behavior


Field Practices and Safety


Field Practices Set types


Describe one water set and one land set for foothold traps
and bodygrip traps. Some common set types for foothold and bodygrip and traps
may include the following:


  1. Land sets using foothold trap: a) dirt hole set,
    b) scent post set, c) flat set
  2. Land sets using bodygrip trap: a) cubby set, b)
    leaning pole set
  3. Water sets using foothold trap with submersion
    system: a) trail set, b) pocket set, c) feed pile set
  4. Water sets using bodygrip trap: a) bank hole
    set, b) channel set, c) under-ice baited beaver set Safe, Legal, Professional
    Behavior


Field Practices Trap setting procedure and safety


Describe the procedure to safely set and release at least
one type of foothold trap and one type of bodygripping trap.


  • The proper procedure to set a foothold trap is
    to compress the springs or levers, lay the dog over a jaw, and nest it into the
    pan notch. Foothold traps should be handled by the baseplate and adjusted from
    under the free jaw to avoid injury.
  • Bodygrip traps are set by compressing the
    spring(s) and then gripping the opposing jaws to bring them together. The dog
    is then nested in the trigger notch to set the trap.
  • Bodygrip traps should be held by the ends of the
    springs and a safety device should be used across the jaws to prevent a
    misfire.
  • Other trap types and cable devices will require
    different techniques to set them properly. Traps should be released by
    reversing the setting process, keeping fingers and hands outside the jaw
    openings. Safe


Field Practices Tools and materials


List tools, materials, and supplies needed to make sets
and run a trapline.


Required tools and materials for trapping vary considerably
based on trap and set type, location, and target species. Excluding traps and
cable devices, some basic equipment for water and land sets includes:


  1. Trap basket or other vessel for carrying
    equipment
  2. Trowel
  3. Hammer or hatchet
  4. Sifter
  5. Trap pan covers or substitute
  6. Trap setting tongs and safety devices
  7. Pliers with a side-cutter and screwdriver for
    adjusting or repairing traps
  8. Baling wire
  9. Stakes, grapples, slide wires, or other
    anchoring system components
  10. Small caliber gun for dispatching animals
  11. Cable cutter if using cable devices
  12. Lure, bait, and/or attractors
  13. Hip boots or chest waders if trapping in/over
    water
  14. Cotton, leather, or rubber gloves/gauntlets
  15. Notebook/trapline diary and/or GPS
  16. Flagging tape
  17. Spare trap tags
  18. Change of clothes (as appropriate for
    conditions) Safe, Legal, Professional Behavior


Field Practices Anchoring systems


Describe the proper methods of anchoring traps.


  • Traps may be anchored with chain or cable
    attached to a stake(s) driven into the ground, an earth anchor, or another
    solid object (e.g., large tree).
  • Traps may be set on one-way slides on cables to
    allow trapped animals to move to cover or submerge and expire in deep water.
  • Traps may be set on drags or grapples which
    allow the trapped animal to move from the trap site to nearby cover before
    becoming entangled. The anchoring system also should incorporate multiple
    swivels and a shock spring. Safe, Legal, Professional Behavior


Field Practices Proper dispatch in land sets


Describe one method to safely, quickly, and humanely kill
a furbearing animal.


Trapped animals should be killed quickly and humanely. Animals
in both foothold and cage traps may be shot using a .22 rimfire cartridge aimed
to pass through the front of the brain into the body of the animal.


Animals also may be shot through the chest (heart/lungs) if
the head is not readily accessible. Local regulations may dictate the use of
other dispatch methods. Safe, Legal, Professional Behavior


Field Practices Proper dispatch in submersion sets


Describe the proper use of footholds in submersion sets.


  • The animal welfare performance standard for
    submersion trapping systems is that the equipment must prevent the animal from
    surfacing once it has submerged.
  • Traps are either set underwater at a depth that
    prevents the captured animal from reaching the surface or they are set in
    shallow water near shore and attached with a one-way sliding lock to a cable
    anchored in deep water. Safe, Legal, Professional Behavior


Field Practices Non-target catches


Avoid non-target catches


Describe techniques to increase selectivity and avoid
non-target catches. Always make sets to catch a specific animal or small group
of animals and take steps to prevent catching pets or other unintended animals.
Techniques include:


  1. Proper set location for the species while
    avoiding high traffic areas used by non-target animals and the public.
  2. Proper trap size and type for the situation and
    species being sought.
  3. Proper selection and use of bait, lure, and
    attractants to attract target species.
  4. Proper pan tension on foothold traps.
  5. Proper trigger length and placement on bodygrip
    traps.
  6. Proper loop size (diameter), shape, and height
    of cable devices. Legal, Professional Behavior


Describe appropriate methods to release non-target
catches.


Whenever possible, non-target animals should be released
unharmed. If an unintended animal is captured the WCO should release the animal
quickly, without danger to him/herself. Methods include the use of:


  • A catchpole(s) or forked stick to restrain the
    animal while the trap is removed
  • A board with a V-notch cut in one edge to shield
    the WCO from the animal while the trap is removed
  • A large piece of fabric (e.g., canvas square,
    tarp, or heavy jacket) that is placed over the trapped animal to calm it while
    the trap is removed.
  • If the WCO cannot safely release the animal,
    state wildlife agency personnel may need to be contacted for assistance. Most
    states have requirements for reporting non-target catches, whether dead or
    released alive. Safe, Legal, Professional Behavior


Field Practices Personal safety


Describe basic practices of safe wildlife control.


Wildlife damage management includes risks to personal
safety, including those related to trap handling, weather, drowning, animal
bites, and disease. Develop safe attitudes and make safe behavior a habit.
Suggestions for personal safety include:


  1. Use trap safety devices (locks and safeties).
  2. Keep trap opening devices (tongs, rope, etc.)
    close at hand.
  3. Use properly tuned traps to avoid misfires.
  4. Wear gloves to avoid hand injury.
  5. Learn basic first aid and carry a first aid kit.
  6. Wear layers of proper clothing to avoid
    hypothermia and frostbite.
  7. Dress properly and use safety equipment when
    boating, wading in cold water, or working over/through ice.
  8. Utilize safe firearm handling practices when
    transporting firearms and dispatching trapped animals.
  9. Trap with a partner.
  10. Notify someone of your location and expected
    return time. Safe, Professional Behavior


Field Practices Identify causes, symptoms and treatments
of hypothermia.


Hypothermia is a decrease in the body’s core temperature
typically caused by cold, wind, and wet conditions. Symptoms of hypothermia
include:


  • Uncontrollable shivering.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Confusion and lack of judgement


Hypothermia should be treated by:


  • Moving the victim to a warm environment and
    removing wet clothing.
  • Warming the victim by covering with blankets or
    other insulating materials.
  • Giving the victim warm (not hot) liquids and/or
    quick-energy foods.
  • Seek medical help if symptoms persist or are
    severe.


Safe Field Practices Personal safety


Identify safe practices for handling firearms


Safe firearm handling practices when trapping include:


  1. Treat every gun as if it’s loaded.
  2. Transport firearms unloaded and only load them
    prior to making a shot.
  3. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction.
  4. Keep the safety on and fingers outside the
    trigger guard until ready to shoot.
  5. Be sure of the target and what is in front of
    and beyond it. Close shots can ricochet off hard objects after passing through
    the animal.
  6. Do not make “contact” shots by touching the
    muzzle to the animal. Always fire from at least several inches away.
  7. Wear eye and ear protection.


Safe Field Practices Personal safety


Explain the importance of personal preparedness when
outdoors.


Preparation is important for reducing the likelihood of
serious emergencies while performing wildlife damage management. Staying in
shape can prevent injury, exhaustion, and stress-related disorders. Carrying
medications and a first aid kit allows immediate treatment of minor issues in
the field. Proper clothing will reduce the effects of harsh weather conditions.
WCOs should know the area they are trapping and carry a basic survival kit
including high-energy food, water, map and compass, knife, fire starter, and
signal device.


Safe Field Practices Using boats for wildlife control


Describe important safety practices when using boats while
performing WDM. Take a boater education course. Always wear a Coast Guard
approved personal flotation device (PFD). Do not overload boats. Avoid boating
during severe weather. Take extra care when navigating in or near dangerous
currents in rivers, tidal areas, and around dams or other obstructions. Safe,
Legal, Professional Behavior


Field Practices Fur handling


Describe proper and safe fur handling techniques.


Use proper methods of skinning, fleshing, drying, and
freezing pelts to maximize value. Properly prepare pelts of different species
(e.g., open- vs. case-skinned) and identify which species are marketed “fur
out” and “leather out”. Wear protective gloves when handling and processing
carcasses and wash thoroughly afterwards to avoid parasites and diseases.
Utilize proper knife handling skills to avoid cuts while skinning and fleshing.
Clean and disinfect knives, skinning benches, cutting surfaces, and other
equipment with a mild bleach solution. Report observations of sick or diseased
wildlife to state wildlife agency personnel. Safe, Professional Behavior


Field Practices Fur marketing


Identify options to market pelts.


Markets include local and traveling furbuyers, shipping
agents, local auctions, taxidermy/educational specimens, and retail sales.
Pelts may be sold “in the round” (unskinned) or “green” (not fleshed or
stretched). Pelts are graded on color, size, primeness, and damage which affect
price, along with market demand.


Field Practices Non-fur marketing


List and describe the uses of the non-pelt parts of
furbearers.


Many non-pelt animal parts can be used and sold. Meat of
furbearers can be used for tablefare or as a food source for pets. The glands
of beaver and other furbearers are used in perfumes, leather preservatives,
holistic medicines, salves, and moisturizers. The meat and glands from
furbearers are used to make baits and lures to catch other furbearers. Skulls,
bones, claws, and teeth of harvested furbearers are bought and sold by
companies that specialize in animal parts for arts, crafts, and novelties.
Legal, Professional Behavior


Trapping Laws and Regulations,


Reasons for ADC laws and regulations


Identify why trapping laws and regulations are important.


Nuisance wildlife control laws and regulations protect
people and non-target animals, ensure that the animal is properly classified as
a pest, and ensure that the methods used to control or remove the animal are
efficient, humane, and fair to all users.


Identify when trapping is used to directly manage
wildlife.


Regulated problem animal control helps manage wildlife and
habitats. When wildlife populations cause conflicts with people or with other
wildlife species and habitats, biologists may adjust trapping regulations to
increase the harvest and reduce the population. Trapping may be used to protect
rare and endangered plant and animal species, wetland habitats, and personal
property. Regulated wildlife damage management methods are also used for
localized disease control, wildlife research, and wildlife restoration (e.g.,
reintroduction programs).


Use resources to find current wildlife control regulations
Find information regarding wildlife control regulations by using an official
resource such as your state fish and wildlife agency.


Resources for nuisance wildlife control regulations, allowed
methods of trapping, and species-specific information can be found in official
state publications, on wildlife agency websites, in access guides and booklets,
using mapping software, and by contacting agency personnel. These resources
provide information regarding how to obtain a WCO license, lawful trap types
and trap sets (techniques), bag limits, other restrictions on wildlife control,
permit and/or stamp requirements, tagging, transporting, reporting
requirements, and trespass laws.


Personal Responsibility and Professional Behavior


Professional and respectful


WCOs promote a positive image of WCOs and trapping


Explain how Professional WCOs show respect for natural
resources, other WCOs, landowners, non-WCOs, and themselves.


A Professional WCO respects wildlife and the environment,
respects landowners and property, shows consideration for non-WCOs, traps
safely, knows and obeys trapping laws, supports wildlife conservation, traps
using best management practices, becomes knowledgeable about wildlife, works
only with other ethical WCOs, and cleans up after him/herself (does not leave
trapping debris/litter behind).


A responsible WCO will display captured and dispatched
animals in a respectful and responsible manner, wear clean, appropriate
clothing in public places, present a professional image when talking to the public
and the media, avoid alcohol and drugs before or during a trapping event, take
tasteful photographs, harvest only as many animals as required to mitigate the
wildlife damage, avoid display of trapped animals on social media and other
outlets that might incite the public, and train his/her replacement (becomes a
mentor).


Professional and respectful WCOs promote a positive image
of WCOs and trapping


Explain why developing responsible WCO behavior is
important for every WCO and the future of the wildlife control industry


WCOs need to develop a personal code of conduct (code of WCO
ethics) which includes, but is not limited to, following laws and regulations
and ensuring proper and appropriate behavior at all times. Positive actions by
responsible WCOs lead to a more positive image of WCOs by the public. The
result can be greater acceptance of and support for trapping and wildlife
control, as well as greater awareness and interest in becoming a wildlife
control operator. Legal, responsible behavior


Communication about wildlife control


Identify the benefits of wildlife control. Wildlife control
is used to protect property and public safety, and is a wildlife management
tool used in severe nuisance control, disease abatement, data collection, and
habitat protection.


Communication about wildlife control and animal damage
prevention


Describe how to effectively communicate the role of a
wildlife control operator.


The public is typically misinformed and often unaware of
even the most basic reasons for wildlife control. Wildlife control is usually
supported by a majority of the public when the scientific information
demonstrates that control is necessary, can be done respectfully and humanely,
and benefits human beings and wildlife.


Important points to share include:


  • Trapping activities are highly regulated.
  • State wildlife agencies continually review and
    develop rules, regulations, education programs, and capture methods that
    consider animal welfare and public safety.
  • Trapping is managed through scientifically-based
    regulations that are strictly enforced.
  • Regulated trapping does not cause wildlife to
    become threatened or endangered.
  • Regulated wildlife control provides many
    benefits, including reducing wildlife damage to crops, livestock, and property;
    and reducing threats to human health and safety.


WCO Best Management Practices for Trapping


WCOs who follow Best Management Practices show respect
for animals


Describe trapping Best Management Practices.


Best Management Practices (BMPs) for trapping are carefully
researched recommendations designed to ensure animals are humanely captured.


  • Trapping BMPs are based on scientific research
    and professional experience regarding currently available traps and trapping
    technology.
  • Trapping BMPs identify both traps and techniques
    that address the welfare of trapped animals and allow for the efficient,
    selective, safe, and practical capture of furbearers.
  • Trapping BMPs are intended to be a practical
    tool for WCOs, wildlife biologists, and wildlife agencies.
  • Trapping BMPs include technical recommendations
    from expert WCOs and biologists and a list of specifications of traps that meet
    or exceed BMP criteria.
  • Trapping BMPs provide additional technical and
    practical information to help WCOs and managers identify and select the best
    traps available for a given species and provide an overview of methods for
    proper use.
  • Trapping BMPs recommend practices, equipment,
    and techniques that ensure the welfare of trapped animals, avoid unintended
    captures of other animals, improve public confidence in WCOs and wildlife
    managers, and maintain public support for trapping and wildlife management.
  • Promotes professional behavior


State the purpose for the development of Best Management
Practices for animal trapping.


The goals of Best Management Practices for trapping are:


  • To educate those who use traps about the most
    humane, safe, selective, efficient, and practical devices currently available.
  • To improve regulated trapping and wildlife
    control by evaluating trapping devices and techniques used for the capture of
    animals. Professional Behavior


List BMP criteria for the evaluation of trapping devices.


There are five main criteria used in the evaluation of
trapping devices for trapping Best Management Practices (BMPs):


  • Animal welfare—BMP-approved traps must result in
    low injury scores to trapped animals. Approved traps exhibited moderate, low,
    or no injury to at least 70% of the trapped animals.
  • Efficiency—Traps meeting BMP criteria must be
    able to capture and hold at least 60% of the furbearers that spring the trap.
  • Selectivity—Traps must be set and used in a
    fashion that limits the risk of capturing non-target species while increasing
    the chances of capturing desired furbearers.
  • Practicality—Criteria used to measure
    practicality include cost, ease of transport and use, storage considerations,
    weight and size, reliability, versatility, and the expected lifespan of the
    trap.
  • Safety—Traps are evaluated for safety to the
    user and other people who might come into contact with the trap. Professional
    Behavior


Describe how to correctly measure jaw spread of foothold
traps.


There is no standardized system linking mechanical design
features with trap sizes and naming conventions. Jaw spread features of traps
are listed in the trapping Best Management Practices so that similar traps may
be identified. Two measurements are used:


  1. The inside spread of the jaw frame at its widest
    point along the line from the dog to the opposite side.
  2. The width between the two jaws where they
    connect to the hinge posts.