Efectivitat de les trampes de pèl com a tècnica de seguiment de micromamífers i petits carnívors al camp

Quintana Pujolàs, Mar
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Nowadays, the most commonly used methods for tracking small mammals are live capture traps. These traps have created controversy because of the stress and risk of harm they can do to the mammals. However, the reason they continue to be used is that there is no standardized method to improve this sampling. Several alternative methods have been developed recently to compete with live trapping, although they also have their own shortcomings. In this study a new methodology that solves some of these deficiencies and does not cause any harm/effect to the micromammals has been developed. This method consists of creating a new trap format that, instead of catching the animal, only captures a sample of its hair. The animal can later be identified with the captured hair. Moreover, DNA samples can be obtained from the hair, with which other studies can be carried out. The traps consist of wooden nest boxes with two entrances made of PVC tubes of different diameters (50 mm and 75 mm). The PVC tubes have a brush on the top to obtain hair without generating any suffering. The nest box is designed in a way that any animal that is capable of entering, can leave it by itself just turning inside. When the trap was first designed and built, the pilot tests were carried out in Salt. On those tests, several methods to obtain the hair were tested to see their effectiveness. Once the most efficient method was chosen, the following tests were carried out in some fields of Verges to check if the trap itself was sufficiently attractive for the micromammals or if it was necessary to place an incentive inside it. As a result, it was observed that the trap by itself is enough attractive for the entry of micromammals such as the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) or the rat (Rattus sp.). However, as expected, the entry of micromammals increased with the incentive inside. Apart from capturing the hair samples, the method can be complemented with camera traps. This can give additional information about other animals that live in the area where the trap is located, such as competitors or predators ​
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