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Article

Baiting/Luring Improves Detection Probability and Species Identification—A Case Study of Mustelids with Camera Traps

1
Department of Biology, Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 24, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
2
Department of Regional Management, University of Applied Forest Sciences Rottenburg, Schadenweilerhof 1, D-72108 Rottenburg am Neckar, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112178
Received: 27 October 2020 / Revised: 16 November 2020 / Accepted: 20 November 2020 / Published: 22 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mammal Trapping, Wildlife Conservation, and Animal Welfare)
Camera traps are now widely used in animal research because they can monitor animals continuously. Nocturnal mammals are particularly difficult to monitor, and identification without cameras would be difficult. However, camera traps can be improved. We here compared two experimental settings to increase detection and images taken of mustelids, mostly martens. Both tuna bait and glandular scents improved the detection and the number of images taken. Both methods were more successful than a control group setting without any attractants.
Motion-triggered trail cameras (hereafter camera traps) are powerful tools which are increasingly used in biological research, especially for species inventories or the estimation of species activity. However, camera traps do not always reliably detect animal visits, as a target species might be too fast, too small, or too far away to trigger an image. Therefore, researchers often apply attractants, such as food or glandular scents, to increase the likelihood of capturing animals. Moreover, with attractants, individuals might remain in front of a camera trap for longer periods leading to a higher number of images and enhanced image quality, which in turn might aid in species identification. The current study compared how two commonly used attractants, bait (tuna) and glandular scent (mustelid mix), affected the detection and the number of images taken by camera traps compared to control camera sites with conventional camera traps. We used a before–after control group design, including a baseline. Attractants increased the probability of detecting the target species and number of images. Tuna experiments produced on average 7.25 times as many images per visit than control camera traps, and scent lures produced on average 18.7 times as many images per visit than the control traps. View Full-Text
Keywords: attractants; bait; camera traps; glandular scent; marten Martes attractants; bait; camera traps; glandular scent; marten Martes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Randler, C.; Katzmaier, T.; Kalb, J.; Kalb, N.; Gottschalk, T.K. Baiting/Luring Improves Detection Probability and Species Identification—A Case Study of Mustelids with Camera Traps. Animals 2020, 10, 2178. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112178

AMA Style

Randler C, Katzmaier T, Kalb J, Kalb N, Gottschalk TK. Baiting/Luring Improves Detection Probability and Species Identification—A Case Study of Mustelids with Camera Traps. Animals. 2020; 10(11):2178. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112178

Chicago/Turabian Style

Randler, Christoph, Tobias Katzmaier, Jochen Kalb, Nadine Kalb, and Thomas K. Gottschalk. 2020. "Baiting/Luring Improves Detection Probability and Species Identification—A Case Study of Mustelids with Camera Traps" Animals 10, no. 11: 2178. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112178

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