For now, hunting and trapping bobcats in Colorado is still legal.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) decided not to ban trapping and hunting the wild cats at a meeting in Grand Junction on Thursday.
CPW commissioners voted down a citizen-led petition to outlaw the practice. Proponents of the ban argued hunting the cats is inhumane and could jeopardize the species.
Biologists with the state agency said the species is stable enough to be hunted. Hunting groups also opposed the ban, arguing that the practice is sufficiently regulated.
CPW says almost 2,000 bobcats are killed each year in Colorado; the coats are popular in Asia, and pelts sell for hundreds of dollars, which has driven an increase in the cats killed each year.
Leg- and foothold-trapping has been outlawed, but live trapping, with a baited box, is often still used as a means of preserving the valuable pelt.
Prairie Protection Colorado, a grassroots environmental group, says they are considering legal action to overturn CPW’s decision.