The Effectiveness of Four Trap Types for Non-Volant Small Mammals
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The study of small mammals often depends upon sampling the density of a population through trapping (Sealander and James, 1958). Comparing different trap types provides researchers with information about the value of using different traps. Because each study site presents unique conditions and small mammal communities, it is important to compare the effectiveness of using different traps to ensure that trapping provides the most complete picture of the small mammal community (Woodman et al., 1996). The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of four different trapping methods at the study site. We hypothesized that trap type is a factor in the quantity and species of mammals caught during the trapping of nonvolant small mammals in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and Roosevelt National Forest (RNF). The traps selected for comparison in this survey include: large Sherman livetraps, standard Sherman livetraps, large snaptraps and pitfall traps. Previous studies have shown that snaptraps are most effective in sampling small mammal populations (Woodman et al,. 1996). We hypothesized that large snaptraps would be the most effective trap type and would thus yield a higher number of captures and a greater quantity of species, and thereby provide a more complete sampling of the study site. Through the examination of different trap types in RMNP and RNF, researchers conducting future studies may have a greater understanding of the value of utilizing different sampling techniques for the small mammal communities in these areas.