CAPTURING AND HANDLING WILD ANIMALS. Sanford D. Schemnitz 1 , Gordon R. Batcheller, Matthew J. Lovallo, H. Bryant White, and Michael W. Fall. 1 Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA. Introduction.
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CAPTURING AND HANDLING WILD ANIMALS Sanford D. Schemnitz1, Gordon R. Batcheller, Matthew J. Lovallo, H. Bryant White, and Michael W. Fall 1Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences New Mexico State University Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
Introduction Millions of wild animals are captured each year as part of damage and disease control programs, population regulation activities, wildlife management efforts, and research studies. • The art of capturing wild animals for food and clothing is as old as human existence on earth. However, in today’s world, reasons for catching wild species are more diverse.
Capture Permits Capture of wildlife species is regulated by state/provincial wildlife agencies. In addition, capture of migratory, threatened, or endangered species is regulated by the federal government. • Before an animal can be captured, the appropriate local (e.g., animal welfare), federal, and/or state/provincial permits must be obtained.
Capturing Birds With Nets Drop nets Cannon and rocket nets Net guns Bow nets Helinet • Dip and throw nets • Mist nets • Dho Gaza nets • Bal-chatri, Noose mats, and Halo traps
Use of Dip Nets • Jon-boat showing positioning of night-lighting equipment (bow rails, lights, converter box and generator) and personnel for capturing cormorants (from King et al. 1994).
Placement of Mist Nets Diagram of erected mist net set at 45o angle to the ground. The elevated edge of the net should face the path of approaching birds (from Silvy and Robel 1969). Mist net erected between 2 live trees and positioned in front of a nest cavity (from Bull and Cooper 1996).
Dho-gaza Trap • A large dho-gaza trap with a tethered great horned owl as an attractant may be used to catch territorial adult raptors. The inset shows a clothespin attachment to a tape tab on a mist net loop (from Bloom 1987).
Bal-chatriTraps and Noose Mats Positioning of lead fences and noose-mats to capture wintering shorebirds (from Mehl et al. 2003). Noose carpets may be applied to branches and around burrowing owl nests (from Bloom 1987). The box-shaped bal-chatri is used for accipiters, buteos, and owls while the cone-shaped trap functions best on kestrels and burrowing owls (from Bloom 1987).
Bow Nets Radio-controlled eagle bow net. A = bow net opening, showing position of principal components; B = top view, no springs; C = detail of spring-hinge-bow-channel attachment; D = cross section detail of channel at trigger mount; and E = interior detail of trigger box (from Jackman et al. 1994). Spring loaded trap for capturing incubating least terns and snowy plovers (from Hill and Talent 1990).
Cannon and Rocket Nets Photograph of cannon (left) and rocket nets (right) shortly after being fired. Note how front end of rocket net comes off the ground allowing taller animals to be trapped than could be accomplished with cannon net (Photo by N. J. Silvy).
Helinet, Drop Net, Mist Net, and Drift Fence with Walk-in Traps for Capturing Prairie-chickens A non-explosive drop net showing yoke assembly at the front of the net and the swivel snap-washer assembly for attaching net to back poles (from Silvy et al. 1990). Helicopter with helinet attached to front of struts (Photo by N. J. Silvy). Diagram of erected mist net set at 45o angle to the ground. The elevated edge of the net should face the path of approaching birds (from Silvy and Robel 1969). Overhead view of lek walk-in designs used to capture lesser prairie-chickens (from Haukos et al. 1990).
Capturing Birds with Snares and Noose Poles • Snares • Floating-fish snares • Power snare • Foot nooses • Noose pole A snare for capturing wildlife
Nest Traps • Multi-capture nest box • Walk-in duck nest trap • Self-tripping nest trap • Basket trap • Double halo • Hoop-net trap Nest trapping box viewed from the rear with the back wall removed. A portion of the nest is removed to illustrate the position of the metal lever and the placement of the egg. A = pin around which the wooden door revolves; B = nail protruding from the wall which keeps the door aligned over the entrance; C = string; D = wooden lever (from Pribil 1997).
Box and Cage Traps • Australian crow trap • Sherman traps • swim-in bait trap • walk-in traps • Chardoneret Trap Modified Chardoneret trap using a captive owl as lure. Owls flew from an external perch into one of the top compartments, landing on the internal perch and releasing the trigger, allowing the lid to close (from Redpath and Wyllie 1994).
Decoy Traps and Enticement Lures Decoy Traps Enticement Lures Audio lures Distress calls Recorded breeding calls • Swedish Goshawk Trap • Live decoys • Floating bait traps
Miscellaneous Capture Methods Alpha-chloralose Tiletamine/zolazepam Other Methods Use of Oral Drugs • Hand captures • Boleadoras • Vehicle pursuit • Helicopter pursuit • Padded-jaw foothold traps
CAPTURING MAMMALS Use of Nets Explosive charged Drop Net Non-explosive charged Drop Net Drive Nets and Portable Drive Net Drift Fences • Dip Nets • Mist Nets • Harp Nets • Drop Nets • Cannon and Rocket Nets • Net Guns
Traps for Mammals Restraining Traps Killing Traps Neck Snares ConibearTMTraps Snap Traps Mole Traps • Sherman Live-traps • Box Traps • Wire Cage Traps • Corral Traps • Foot Traps and Snares Tranquilizer Trap Devices Padded Foot Traps Corral trap for capturing feral hogs.
Cage Traps TomahawkTM live trap attached to a small-diameter tree by a bracket (from Hayes et al. 1994). Diagram of the aboreal trapping method used in southeastern Amazon (from Lambert et al. 2005).
Pipe Trap Design of pipe trap. The design uses 90 mm PVC pipe and fittings throughout (from Winning and King 2008).
Rodent Safe-house Side (A) and front (B) view of the assembled rodent safe-house constructed with 5-cm diameter PVC pipe. (from Padgett-Flohr and Jennings 2001).
Calvert Trap Culvert trap for capturing bears (photograph by New Mexico Department of Game and Fish).
Roost Trap for Bats • Trap arrangement for catching bats. A = assembled trap with ropes and their points of attachment and B = lateral view of the assembled trap. Aluminum frames are cross-hatched (from Cotterill and Fergusson 1993).
Foothold Traps Foothold restraining traps used to capture mammals; VictorTM No. 1.5 coil spring foothold trap (left), VictorTM No. 1.5 soft-catchTM foothold trap with padded jaws (right) (photograph by G. F. Hubert, Jr.). Foot encapsulating traps specifically designed for capturing raccoons (prevents self-mutilation) and reducing the capture of domestic pets (courtesy Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies).
Double Jaw Foothold Traps Coil-spring and long spring traps modified with double-jaws (illustration used courtesy of Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies). The double-jaws reduce injuries to animals trapped.
Snares The 1 x 19 single-strand snare cable construction consists of 7 wires (twisted right) wrapped by 12 wires twisted left (top) and The 7 x 7 multi-strand snare cable has 7 bundles of 7 wires each (bottom left). While the 7 x 19 multi-strand snare cable has 7 bundles of 19 wires each (illustration used courtesy of Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies). The Novak foot snare (photograph by G. F. Hubert, Jr.).
Miscellaneous Capture Methods • Hand Capturing • Lassoing • Glue Traps • Vaginal Implant Transmitters • Trap-signaling Device Restraint and radio collar attachment for deer captured while swimming (from Boroski and McGlaughlin 1994).
Use of Attractants Baits Scents Gland Scents (e.g., seal oil, Siberian musk oil, anal glands from foxes and skunks, and mink musk) Curiosity Scents (e.g., rotten eggs, decomposed meat, and fish oil) Catnip W-U Lure (Trimethylammoniumdecanoate plus sulfides) Plant Extractions Visual Attractants (e.g., colored feathers) • Sweet Baits • Salt Blocks • Protein Blocks • Liquid Baits (e.g., apple juice) • Vegetable Baits • Meat Baits
Species-specific Traps for Live Capture of Mammals Species Live-capture Method • American Badger VictorTMNo. 3 Soft-Catch™ padded foothold traps • American Beaver Clamshell-type traps • Bobcat Gage trap with live bait • Coyote No. 3 Soft-Catch™ padded foothold traps • Feral Cat Wire mesh traps (40 x 40 x 60 cm) • Fisher Cage traps • Fox (Arctic, Gray, and Kit) No. 1.5 Soft-Catch™ padded foothold traps • Fox (Swift) Baited single door HavahartTM wire cage traps (25.4 x 30.5 x 81.3 cm) • Grey WolfAldrichTM foot snare • FeralHogBox and corral traps • Jaguar Treeing with hounds and use of capture gun • Lynx No. 3 Soft-Catch™ foothold trap with padded jaws
Species-specific Traps Species Live-capture Method • Marten Wire box traps • Mink Restraining trap research on mink is lacking • Mountain Lion Treeing with hounds and use of capture gun • Muskrat Wire cage trap with double doors • Nutria Cage trap with vegetable baits • Virginia Opossum Cage trap with meat or vegetable baits • Porcupine Single-door cage traps baited with sliced apples • Pocket Gopher Cylindrical PVC pipe trap • Raccoon Cage trap with meat or vegetable baits • Northern River Otter Hancock clam traps • Squirrels (Gray, Red, and Fox) Cage trap with pecan baits • Striped Skunk Cage trap with meat or vegetable baits • Weasels Cage trap with meat baits • Wolverine Specialized log trap
CAPTURING REPTILES Fishing pole Glue traps Herp scoop Bal-chatri trap Fyke and trammel nets • Hand capture • Drift Fences with Pitfall and Funnel Traps • Cover boards • Sherman live traps
Hand Capture A method for catching lizards by chasing them into tubes placed beneath a bush. The tubes have 1 end covered with tape (from Strong et al. 1993).
Drift Fences and Pitfall Traps Specifications of flip-top lid on 19-l (5 gallon) bucket set in a drift fences (from Christiansen and Vandewalle 2000).
Basking Trap Turtle basking trap design. A = wood frame, B = foam floats, C = net basket, and D = anchor (from Gamble 2006).
Capturing Amphibians Pipes Cover Boards Electroshocking Fishing pole Aquatic funnel trap • Hand capture • Dip Nets • Drift Fences with Pitfall and Funnel Traps
Amphibian Scoop Amphibia scoop made from a polyethylene soft drink bottle (A) with the base cut off and inverted to act as a lid (B). A V-shaped notch and a flashlight (C) were added to make the scoop more useful (from Sievert et al. 1999).
Aquatic Drift Fence Fence for capturing tree frogs as they enter and leave ponds. A = front view of the fence. Only a portion of the fence and only one of the plastic barriers are shown. B = side view of the fence showing both plastic barriers. C = enlarged side view of the fence showing method of attachment of flexible plastic barrier to strings (from Murphy 1993).
Trapping Lizards and Turtles Lizards Turtles Basking traps Floating pitfall trap Funnel traps Baited hoop trap • Pitfall-style traps • Water squirting • Artificial retreat • Noose trap • Glue board
Trapping Snakes and Alligators Snakes Alligators Mist of water Baited box traps Snare pole • Hand capture • Modified eel pot traps • Funnel traps • Pitfall traps
HANDLING CAPTURED ANIMALS Keep animal in dark and release as soon as possible to prevent capture myopathy • Non-chemical handling and physical restraint of captured animals is inexpensive and usually causes lower mortality rates
SUMMARY • Humane capture and handling techniques continue to be of paramount importance. • Use of different net types (e.g., dip, mist, bow, drop, drift, cannon, and rocket) continue to be most useful technique for capturing birds. • Mammals are captured primarily with snares, foothold, box, and cage traps. • Wild animals may be captured subsistence, animal damage control, population management, disease control, enhancement of other species, economic benefits, and research. • Regardless of the reasons for capture, the most humane devices and techniques should be used. • All untested capture devices should be evaluated using standardized, scientifically-sound protocols that include the documentation of capture-related injuries via whole body necropsies.