A night-lighting unit, designed as a light weight back-pack, proved successful for capturing waterfowl pairs, pheasants (Phasianus colchicus), and cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus) during the spring and summer when most breeding populations are widely dispersed. Eighty ducks of seven species were captured in 48 hours (1.7 ducks per hour) of night-lighting in marsh habitat. Similarly, 30 pheasants were trapped in 25 hours (1.2 birds per hour) and 63 cottontail rabbits were either observed at close range (6-12 ft) or captured during night-lighting operations in upland habitat. Catch per hour of effort increased for all species as their night habitat requirements and reaction to night-lights became known. The mobile unit proved well suited for intensive use on small areas where other methods of capture were unfeasible and where representative coverage of various habitat types was desired. Besides its utility for capturing animals, the unit provided a method for studying nocturnal movements, behavior, and habitat use of marked animals.
Additional publication details
Back-pack unit for capturing waterfowl and upland game by night-lighting