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Título

Evaluation of attractants for non-invasive studies of Iberian carnivore communities

AutorMonterroso, Pedro S. ; Alves, Paulo C.; Ferreras, Pablo
Palabras clavePopulation monitoring
Attractant effectiveness
Species detection
Behavioural response
Iberian carnivores
Efficacy
Fecha de publicación2011
EditorCSIRO Publishing
CitaciónWildlife Research 38: 446-454 (2011)
Resumen[Context]: The estimation of population parameters for mammalian carnivore species is a challenging task because of their low densities and large home ranges, which make detection probabilities very low. Several factors, such as the species abundance, habitat structure or the use of an attractant affect carnivore detection probabilities; however, attractants are the most easily manipulated. Some previous research suggests that the use of effective attractants can significantly increase detection probabilities. [Aims]: To assess the effectiveness of several attractants for Iberian carnivores, and to evaluate their usefulness for non-invasive survey methods. [Methods]: The responses of seven carnivore species to six potential attractants were evaluated through cafeteria-like experiments with captive specimens. A selectivity index was applied to assess the relative attractiveness of each tested substance. The enclosure tests were followed by field trials with camera-trapping, using the most promising attractants for field evaluation of their efficiency. [Key results]: Enclosure trials revealed that lynx urine was the most effective and generalist attractant because it successfully attracted six of the seven species tested. Rubbing behaviour was also induced in the greatest number of species by lynx urine. Field tests using a combination of lynx urine and valerian extract solution induced investigative behaviours in over 50% of all detection events in all species, with the exception of the Eurasian badger. [Conclusions]: No single attractant is effective for all species. Nevertheless, a combination of lynx urine and valerian solution should efficiently attract the majority of species present in Iberian carnivore communities. Furthermore, some species exhibit a rubbing behaviour when they come in contact with the attractants. Regardless of the generalist efficiency of the lynx urine, other tested substances revealed promising results for single-species monitoring. [Implications]: Our results provide a baseline for selecting attractants in survey and monitoring programs that focus on carnivore species. The rubbing behaviours exhibited by several of the species tested suggest the use of these attractants could improve the efficiency of field studies that rely on rub-pads for the collection of biological samples.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/143773
DOI10.1071/WR11060
Identificadoresdoi: 10.1071/WR11060
issn: 1035-3712
e-issn: 1448-5494
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