Australian Mammalogy Australian Mammalogy Society
Journal of the Australian Mammal Society
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The effectiveness of hair traps for surveying mammals: results of a study in sandstone caves in the Tasmanian southern midlands

Rachel L. Harris A and Stewart C. Nicol A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A School of Zoology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tas. 7000, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email: s.c.nicol@utas.edu.au

Australian Mammalogy 32(1) 62-66 https://doi.org/10.1071/AM09019
Submitted: 4 August 2009  Accepted: 30 January 2010   Published: 24 March 2010

Abstract

We compared detection success of hair tubes and funnels with tape and Velcro adhesives as part of a small-scale mammal survey in sand-bottomed caves in the southern midlands of Tasmania. In order to detect small mammals entering traps but not leaving hair samples behind, a new type of funnel design was tested. In total, 19 species were detected throughout the survey period using a combination of hair traps and track and scat analysis. When tracks were observed inside funnel entrances no hairs were found on the adhesive tapes in 71% of cases. Hairs from several species were found in traps although there were no tracks of these species in the caves. These results further emphasise the importance of using multiple techniques when conducting general mammal surveys. Appropriate hair trap design is an important factor to be considered when conducting mammal surveys, as it has the potential to strongly influence survey efficiency and overall results.

Additional keywords: adhesive, funnel, hair trap, mammal survey, scats, Tasmania, tracks.


Acknowledgements

We thank the McShane family for allowing us to conduct our survey on their property. Thanks to Billie Lazenby for advice on hair identification, Barbara Triggs for validating a subsample, and two anonymous reviewers for useful comments on the manuscript. This study was conducted under Animal Ethics Approval A0010064 and Department of Primary Industries and Water Permit FA 08053.


References

Boyce J. (2009). ‘Van Diemen’s Land.’ (Black Inc.: Melbourne.)

Brunner H. , and Coman B. J. (1974). ‘The Identification of Mammalian Hair.’ (Inkata Press: Melbourne.)

Catling, P. C. , Burt, R. J. , and Kooyman, R. (1997). A comparison of techniques used in a survey of the ground-dwelling and arboreal mammals in forests in north-eastern New South Wales. Wildlife Research 24, 417–432.
CrossRef |

Foran, D. R. , Minta, S. C. , and Heinemeyer, K. S. (1997). DNA-based analysis of hair to identify species and individuals for population research and monitoring. Wildlife Society Bulletin 25, 840–847.


Garden, J. G. , McAlpine, C. A. , Possingham, H. P. , and Jones, D. N. (2007). Using multiple survey methods to detect terrestrial reptiles and mammals: what are the most successful and cost-efficient combinations? Wildlife Research 34, 218–227.


Harris S. , and Kitchener A. (2005). ‘From Forest to Fjaeldmark: Descriptions of Tasmania’s Vegetation.’ (Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment: Hobart.)

Lindenmayer, D. B. , Wong, A. D. , and Triggs, B. E. (1995). A comparison of the detection of small mammals by hairtubing and by scat analysis. Australian Mammalogy 18, 91–92.


Lindenmayer, D. B. , Incoll, R. D. , Cunningham, R. B. , Pope, M. L. , Donnelly, C. F. , MacGregor, C. I. , Tribolet, C. , and Triggs, B. E. (1999). Comparison of hairtube types for the detection of mammals. Wildlife Research 26, 745–753.
CrossRef |

Lobert, B. , Lumsden, L. , Brunner, H. , and Triggs, B. (2001). An assessment of the accuracy and reliability of hair identification of south-east Australian mammals. Wildlife Research 28, 637–641.
CrossRef |

Mills, D. J. , Harris, B. , Claridge, A. W. , and Barry, S. C. (2002). Efficacy of hair-sampling techniques for the detection of medium-sized terrestrial mammals. I. A comparison between hair-funnels, hair-tubes and indirect signs. Wildlife Research 29, 379–387.
CrossRef |

Murray, A. J. (2005). A new low-cost hairtube design for the detection of the spotted-tailed quoll Dasyurus maculatus in south-eastern Australia. Australian Mammalogy 27, 81–84.


Nelson, J. L. (2006). A comparison of three hair-tube types for the detection of the spotted-tail quoll Dasyurus maculatus in south-eastern New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 28, 229–233.


Pocock, M. J. O. , and Jennings, N. (2006). Use of hair tubes to survey for shrews: new methods for identification and quantification of abundance. Mammal Review 36, 299–308.
CrossRef |

Sanecki, G. M. , and Green, K. (2005). A technique for using hair tubes beneath the snowpack to detect winter-active small mammals in the subnivean space. European Journal of Wildlife Research 51, 41–47.
CrossRef |

Scotts, D. J. , and Craig, S. A. (1988). Improved hair-sampling tube for the detection of rare mammals. Australian Wildlife Research 15, 469–472.
CrossRef |

Sloane, M. A. , Sunnucks, P. , Alpers, D. , Beheregaray, L. B. , and Taylor, A. C. (2000). Highly reliable genetic identification of individual northern hairy-nosed wombats from single remotely collected hairs: a feasible censusing method. Molecular Ecology 9, 1233–1240.
CrossRef | CAS | PubMed |

Suckling, G. C. (1978). A hair sampling tube for the detection of small mammals in trees. Australian Wildlife Research 5, 249–252.
CrossRef |

Triggs B. (1996). ‘Tracks, Scats and Other Traces: A Field Guide to Australian Mammals.’ (Oxford University Press: Melbourne.)

Triggs B. , and Brunner H. (2002). ‘Hair ID: An Interactive Tool for Identifying Australian Mammalian Hair.’ (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)

Van Dyck S. , and Strahan R. (Eds) (2008). ‘The Mammals of Australia.’ 3rd edn. (Reed New Holland: Sydney.)

Watts D. (2002). ‘Tasmanian Mammals: A Field Guide.’ (Peregrine Press: Kettering.)

Winnett, G. , and Degabriele, R. (1982). A hair sampling tube for the detection of small and medium-sized mammals. Australian Mammalogy 5, 143–145.



Export Citation Cited By (5)