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Trapping the arboreal snake Boiga irregularis

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

The snake Boiga irregularis, an exotic on Guam, has eliminated the majority of the native vertebrates there. We tested traps designed to control this arboreal snake during three periods of 20-41 days in 1988 and 1989. The relative trapping successes with different baits and trap configurations indicated that this snake will not readily push through a visually obstructed entrance. However, under some conditions, 80% of the snakes escaped from traps lacking a physical blockage at the entrance. Live bait was more successful than odoriferous bait alone, and odoriferous guide ropes that led to trap entrances did not enhance capture rates. These findings corroborate laboratory experiments indicating an unusually strong dependence on visual cues in this highly successful nocturnal predator.

Affiliations: 1: Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Biological Sciences East Room 210, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA; 2: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC 20560, USA


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