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Efficiency of hair snares and camera traps to survey mesocarnivore populations

AutorMonterroso, Pedro S. ; Rich, Lindsey N.; Serronha, Ana; Ferreras, Pablo ; Alves, Paulo C.
Palabras claveMonitoring
Molecular methods
Detection probability
Noninvasive sampling
Fecha de publicación2014
CitaciónEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research 60(2): 279-289 (2014)
ResumenMammalian carnivore communities affect entire ecosystem functioning and structure. However, their large spatial requirements, preferred habitats, low densities, and elusive behavior deem them difficult to study. In recent years, noninvasive techniques have become much more common as they can be used to monitor multiple carnivore species across large areas at a relatively modest cost. Hair snares have the potential to fulfill such requirements, but have rarely been tested in Europe. Our objective was to quantitatively assess the effectiveness of hair snares for surveying mesocarnivores in the Iberian Peninsula (Southwestern Europe), by comparison with camera-trapping. We used an occupancy modeling framework to assess method-specific detectability and occupancy estimates and hypothesized that detection probabilities would be influenced by season, sampling method, and habitat-related variables. A total of 163 hair samples were collected, of which 136 potentially belonged to mesocarnivores. Genetic identification success varied with diagnostic method: 25.2 % using mitochondrial CR, and 9.9 % using the IRBP nuclear gene. Naïve occupancy estimates were, in average, 5.3 ± 1.2 times higher with camera-trapping than with hair-snaring, and method-specific detection probabilities revealed that camera traps were, in average, 6.7 ± 1.1 times more effective in detecting target species. Overall, few site-specific covariates revealed significant effects on mesocarnivore detectability. Camera traps were a more efficient method for detecting mesocarnivores and estimating their occurrence when compared to hair snares. To improve hair snares' low detection probabilities, we suggest increasing the number of sampling occasions and the frequency at which hair snares are checked. With some refinements to increase detection rates and the success of genetic identification, hair-snaring methods may be valuable for providing deeper insights into population parameters, attained through adequate analysis of genetic information, that is not possible with camera traps.
Versión del editorhttps://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-013-0780-1
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1007/s10344-013-0780-1
issn: 1612-4642
e-issn: 1439-0574
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