Influence of Bait on Assessment of Biodiversity of Small Mammals
Type of DegreeThesis
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Two experiments were designed to test effectiveness of bait packs containing peanut butter and rolled oats (peanut butter bait packs) compared to empty bait packs in traps used to capture small mammals. In experiment A, traps were set in pairs at each trap station: one trap contained a peanut butter bait pack and the other trap contained an empty bait pack. In experiment B, 2 independent lines of traps were set. All traps in 1 line contained peanut butter bait packs, and all traps in the second line contained empty bait packs. Effectiveness was measured by comparing success of capture for each baiting scheme for each experiment. Results are reported for the 5 most commonly captured species. The deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), Bailey’s pocket mouse (Chaetodipus baileyi), long-tailed vole (Microtus longicaudus), and southern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys torridus) were captured equally as often in traps with peanut butter bait packs as traps with empty bait packs in both experiments during summer. During summer 2003, Merriam’s kangaroo rat (Dipodomys merriami) demonstrated an aversion to traps with peanut butter bait packs when given a choice (experiment A), but was captured equally as often in traps with peanut butter bait packs as traps with empty bait packs when not given a choice (experiment B). During winter 2004, no significant differences were observed in capture success for either baiting scheme in either experiment for D. merriami. My data suggest that peanut butter bait packs do not increase success of capture when trapping P. maniculatus, C. baileyi, M. longicaudus, or O. torridus.