ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists are suing the New Mexico Game Commission in federal court, arguing that expanded cougar trapping threatens endangered Mexican gray wolves and jaguars.
The lawsuit was filed Monday by The Human Society of the United States, Animal Protection New Mexico and residents Peter and Jean Ossorio.
The commission voted last year to allow trapping on 9 million acres of state lands, but opponents voiced concerns that the decision was based on politics rather than science.
The revision removed the requirement to obtain permits to trap cougars on private land. It also cleared the way for using leg-hold trapping and snaring on state lands.
Game officials did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
An attorney for the Human Society says trapping threatens to undermine efforts to recover wolves and jaguars in violation of the Endangered Species Act.