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The effect of funnel trap type and size of pitfall trap on trap success: implications for ecological field studies

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Funnel and pitfall traps that are set in association with drift fences are powerful tools for field herpetologists. Innovations in trapping techniques continue to improve capture rates, portability and affordability of trap materials, and to decrease construction and installation time. In this paper we test a new design for funnel traps and test the effect of pitfall trap size on trap success. Our new funnel trap design was significantly easier and quicker to construct, but captured fewer specimens than the traditional design. There was no significant difference in the capture rates of the two sizes of pitfall trap that we tested. This finding was confirmed by a second, more extensive field survey. The implications of trap efficacy on ecological investigations are discussed.

Affiliations: 1: School of Animal, Plant & Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, WITS, 2050, Gauteng, South Africa


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