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Improved Trapping Methods for Swift Foxes and Sympatric Coyotes

Jan F. Kamler, Warren B. Ballard, Rickey L. Gilliland and Kevin Mote
Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006)
Vol. 30, No. 4 (Winter, 2002), pp. 1262-1266
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3784297
Page Count: 5
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Improved Trapping Methods for Swift Foxes and Sympatric Coyotes
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Abstract

Research on swift foxes (Vulpes velox) has recently increased due to severe reductions in their numbers and distribution. Although information on trapping methodology exists, a comparison of different trapping methods has not been conducted. We compared capture rates of single-set boxtraps and reverse double-set boxtraps for capturing swift foxes and other mesocarnivores. We also evaluated the use of pan-tension devices on modified No. 3 Victor Soft Catch® traps for capturing sympatric coyotes (Canis latrans) while excluding swift foxes. From August 1998 to January 2001 in northwest Texas, we captured 87 swift foxes 302 times and striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) 258 times in boxtraps. Overall capture rates differed (P<0.001) between trap sets. Capture rate of swift foxes was 48% higher in reverse double sets than in single sets, whereas capture rates for striped skunks were similar between set types. Higher capture rates for swift foxes in double sets resulted from multiple captures and easier access to bait. Use of pan-tension devices set at 2.15 kg on modified No. 3 Soft Catch traps allowed us to capture 32 sympatric coyotes (94% capture rate) while excluding swift foxes (n=88 visits), which likely would have sustained serious injuries if captured. Our results indicate that coyotes can effectively be captured in foothold traps while excluding large numbers of swift foxes.

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