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I evaluated the efficacy of currycombs attached to cage-trap doors for snaring hair from forest carnivores as a non-invasive technique for detecting and monitoring wildlife populations. Raccoons (Procyon lotor), fishers (Martes pennanti), and American martens (M. americana) were the most common species sampled. In 13 of 16 initial trials, I obtained adequate hair samples using 2 currycombs. Species identification from hair collected during a field trial was 100%. Dorsal guard hairs collected facilitated identification. One nontarget mortality occurred because the individual could not raise the trap door to escape. This technique provides an additional tool for detecting presence and distribution of forest carnivores and ensures that single samples can be obtained for individual identification. With recent advances in DNA analyses, cost-effective population estimates for forest carnivores using hair samples are possible.
Wildlife Society Bulletin (1973-2006) © 2003 Wiley