First name Last Name Adam Roberts

For Immediate Release:

8 Jun 2019

US Forced To Back Off on Bobcats

THE HAGUE—Delegates at the ongoing meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in The Hague, Netherlands, today overwhelmingly rejected an American proposal to remove the bobcat (Lynx rufus) from protection under the CITES Appendices. The proposal was defeated by a majority of more than two to one.

Despite the fact that the USA has repeatedly tried and failed to have such a measure approved, Parties including Mexico, Serbia, Germany on behalf of the EU and India strongly opposed the measure.

“The bobcat is already the most heavily trafficked cat species with an average of more than 28,000 skins exported annually from the USA between 2001 and 2005” said Adam Roberts, Vice President of Born Free USA, a member of the Species Survival Network.

“Maintaining the species on Appendix II provides an important trade monitoring opportunity and delivers additional protection for one of the most endangered cats in the world, the Iberian lynx, which is virtually indistinguishable in appearance.”

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species acknowledges that the bobcat is experiencing “a declining trend due to persecution and degradation of its habitat and prey base” and that “there is still concern over whether commercial trapping, as practiced in North America, is sustainable for the bobcat population.”

Voting was brisk at the start of the morning session and the results – 28 votes in favour, 63 votes against and 9 abstentions – underscored the mood of the Conference that the bobcat should continue to benefit from the trade control mechanisms offered by CITES.

Mr. Roberts concluded, “It’s terribly disappointing when my government seems to act on behalf of commercial industry rather than in the interest of the species and in step with the overwhelming majority of conservation-minded, compassionate citizens. I hope this vote sends a strong message to the US Government that bobcats and related species across the globe deserve a long-term reprieve from unfettered exploitation for commercial gain.”

For more information contact:

Adam M. Roberts, Press Officer,
In The Hague: 06-5213 6798
Globally: 1-202-445-3572

10, Churchillplein NL-2508 THE HAGUE