Comparison of Methods for Monitoring Reptiles and Amphibians in Upland Forests of the Ouachita Mountains


We compared drift fence arrays (employing pitfalls and double-ended funnel traps), double-ended funnel traps without drift fences, and time-constrained searching as methods for capturing reptiles and amphibians in upland forests of the Ouachita Mountains, Arkansas. Taxonomic groups (anurans, salamanders, and squamates) were appraised for heterogeneity of susceptibility to capture among different methods. Also, capture success for types of funnel traps were compared across different size classes of squamates. We sampled a total of 91 days during six trapping periods over the spring and summer months of 1993 and 1994. Eight-hundred eighty-six individuals representing 38 species of reptiles and amphibians were captured. Standardizing captures by common unit effort (captures/trap-day or captures/person-day) shows that time-constrained searching was overall the most efficient, followed by drift fence arrays, then stand-alone funnel traps. However, more herps can be captured by trapping (especially when associated with drift fences) than searching, because of personnel limitations. Pitfall traps more effectively captured most anurans, salamanders, lizards, and small snakes, while double-ended funnel traps effectively captured most large squamates. Funnel traps made of aluminum window screen were significantly better for catching smal

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