Comparing three live trapping methods for small mammal sampling in cultivated areas of NE Spain

This January, David Guixé, a BAC lab’s member published a paper in collaboration with Ignasi Torre from the Museu de Granollers – Ciències Naturals and Fermí Sort.

The aim of the paper was to investigate trap efficiency and specificity of three widely used live trapping methods (Sherman, mesh, and pitfall traps) in an agricultural landscape of NE Spain. For that reason, they trapped 243 small mammals of 8 different species – 6 species by Sherman traps, 6 by mesh and 3 by pitfall.

Log-linear analysis for contingency tables showed that the three trapping methods used were species-specific and the analysis of the standardized residuals pointed out that Apodemus sylvaticus and Mus spretus were undersampled by pitfall traps, whereas Suncus etruscus and Microtus duodecimcostatus were significantly over-sampled by pitfall traps. Finally, Suncus etruscus was significantly under- sampled by Sherman and mesh traps.

In conclusion, the composition of the small mammal community studied was rather similar when using Sherman and mesh traps, but differed strongly from the community sampled by pitfall traps. As previously pointed out by many authors, a combination of trapping techniques is necessary to assess the composition of small mammal communities.

If you would know more about it:

  • Torre I, Guixè D, Sort F (2010) Comparing three Live trapping methods for small mammal sampling in cultivated areas of NE Spain. Hystrix It. J. Mamm. (n.s.) 21(2) 2010: 147-155

Click if you would consult some other BAC Lab’s articles.

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