1 Tahrcountry Musings: To bait or not to bait

Saturday, August 02, 2014

To bait or not to bait

To bait or not to bait: A comparison of camera-trapping methods for estimating leopard (Panthera pardus) density
Byron D. du Preez, Andrew J. Loveridge , David W. Macdonald
Biological Conservation
Volume 176, August 2014, Pages 153–161
Leopards have lost a third of their historical range, and their current CITES status is ‘Near Threatened’ even though they have the largest natural distribution among felids. In this paper the authors describe the pros and cons of normal camera trapping versus baited camera trapping in getting accurate data on leopard populations
unbaited camera-trapping has the disadvantage of low capture rates which in turn affects the accuracy of the resultant density calculations. Another disadvantage is that dependent cubs are underrepresented in the data skewing demographic structure.

In their research the scientists found that baited camera-trapping significantly increased leopard capture rates, as well as recording dependent cubs. To boot it was also cost effective. It has the potential to accurately survey unmonitored populations; including where their density is too low to determine accurately via other means.

No comments: