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A funnel trap for capture of small arboreal reptiles

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Small arboreal reptiles can be difficult to capture, except in traps, and the physical trap characteristics, drift-fence and bait are critical factors that can influence the efficacy of any trap. We conducted experiments on marbled geckoes (Christinus marmoratus, Gekkonidae) and wall skinks (Cryptoblepharus plagiocephalus, Scincidae) that examined bait preferences, attractiveness of different visual and acoustic cues and efficacy of different drift-fence materials to develop a trap for small arboreal reptiles. The experiments showed that both marbled geckos and wall skinks preferred crickets as bait, that wall skinks avoided darkness/cover and that both species had difficulty climbing flashing material covered in oil. This led us to develop an arboreal trap that was made from transparent material, used crickets as bait and had drift-fences constructed from flashing material. When used in the field, the final trap design was effective in capturing arboreal reptiles.

Affiliations: 1: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Murdoch University, Murdoch WA 6150, Australia; 2: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch WA 6150, Australia; 3: Alcoa World Alumina Australia, Pinjarra, WA 6208, Australia


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