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Monday, February 6 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Technical Session. Influence of Trap Modifications and Environmental Predictors on Capture Success of Southern Flying Squirrels

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AUTHORS: Will T. Rechkemmer, Mary E. Scheihing, James S. Zweep, Sean E. Jenkins - Western Illinois University; Robert W. Klaver, U. S. Geological Survey; Shelli A. Dubay, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Christopher N. Jacques, Western Illinois University.

ABSTRACT: Sherman traps are the most commonly used live traps in studies of small mammals and have been successfully used in the capture of arboreal species like southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans). However, southern flying squirrels spend proportionately less time foraging on the ground, which necessitates above-ground trapping efforts and modifying capture protocols accordingly. Further, quantitative estimates of the magnitude of factors affecting capture success of flying squirrel populations has focused solely on effects of trapping methodologies. We developed and evaluated the efficacy of a portable Sherman trap design for capturing southern flying squirrels. Additionally, we used logistic regression to quantify potential effects of time-dependent (e.g., climate) and time-independent (e.g., habitat, extrinsic) factors on capture success of southern flying squirrels. We recorded a total of 165 capture events (119 females, 44 males, 2 unknown) using our modified Sherman trap design. Probability of capture success decreased 0.10 per 1 C increase in daily maximum temperature and by 0.09 per unit increase (km/hr) in wind speed. In contrast, probability of capture success increased by 1.2 per 1 C increase in daily minimum temperature. The probability of capturing flying squirrels was negatively associated with trap orientation. When the probability of capturing flying squirrels is a function of daily variation in climatologic factors, we have shown that our modified trap design is a safe, effective, and cost-effective method of capturing animals when moderate weather (temperature and wind speed) conditions prevail. Strategic placement of traps (e.g., northeast side of tree) and quantitative information on site-specific (e.g., trap locations) characteristics (e.g., topographical features, slope, aspect, climatologic factors) could increase southern flying squirrel capture success.

Monday February 6, 2017 1:20pm - 1:40pm CST