Capture rates of small vertebrates decrease as the pit-trapping effort increases at Ora Banda

Document Type

Journal Article


Royal Society of Western Australia Inc.


Faculty of Business and Public Management


School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure




Thompson, S. A., & Thompson, G. G. (2005). Capture rates of small vertebrates decrease as the pit-trapping effort. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 8837, 39. Available here


Based on 27216 pit-trap nights, we measured catch rates for reptiles and mammals using bucket and pipe pit-traps over seven consecutive days for nine sites for eight trips over two years in the Ora Banda region of Western Australia. The number of individuals captured was highest for both mammals and reptiles on the first day that pit-traps were open. For mammals, catch rates declined over a period of four consecutive days and then remained at that level. All species were likely to be captured in the first two days of trapping days with the trapping strategy that we used. For reptiles, catch rates declined for the first four days then increased to a level similar to days 2 and 3. New species of reptiles were captured after the fourth day of trapping, so extended periods of pit-trapping increases the proportion of species in the assemblage that are captured, although the return on trapping effort declines.