Usefulness of funnel traps in catching small reptiles and mammals, with comments on the effectiveness of the alternatives
Business and Law
Marketing, Tourism and Leisure
Funnel traps were used in conjunction with pit traps (PVC buckets and pipes), Elliott traps and cage traps at 10 sites in southern Western Australia to examine sampling bias of trap types. Funnel traps seldom catch small mammals but catch more of the medium-sized and large terrestrial, diurnal snakes and some of the widely foraging, medium-sized skinks, medium-sized dragon lizards and arboreal geckos that climb out of PVC pit traps. For pit traps, buckets catch more reptiles, particularly smaller ones, than pipes. However, pipes catch more mammals than buckets. Elliott traps catch the same suite of small mammals as pipes plus some of the large, trappable species, such as Rattus spp. Cage traps are useful for trapping Tiliqua spp. and medium-sized mammals such as possums and bandicoots that are unlikely to be caught in pit and funnel traps. Funnel traps, pit traps and cage traps should be used in surveys of small terrestrial vertebrates to determine species richness and relative abundance in Western Australia and probably elsewhere. However, as cage traps are mostly useful for catching Tiliqua spp. and medium-sized mammals, they need only be used in faunal surveys undertaken for environmental impact assessments specifically targeting these species.