Scented guide ropes as a method to enhance brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) trap capture success on Guam

Journal of Herpetology
By: , and 



Current methods for controlling the invasive Brown Treesnake (Boiga irregularis) on Guam include a modified minnow trap with a live mouse lure. We investigated the effects on capture success of augmenting these traps with scented guide ropes leading to trap entrances. Initial screening of scent preferences was based on time spent in scented and unscented arms of a Y-maze. Preferences of large and small snakes were scored for six different prey scents (live and carrion gecko, skink, and mouse). Large snakes spent more time in the maze arm scented with live gecko and carrion gecko, whereas small snakes spent more time in the arm scented with carrion mouse and carrion gecko. After the laboratory study, a pilot trapping session was conducted in the field using three treatments (live mouse-scented ropes, carrion gecko-scented ropes, and carrion mouse-scented ropes) and two controls (traps with unscented guide ropes and those with no ropes attached). Contrary to laboratory results, live mouse-scented ropes were most effective. We conducted a second trapping session using live mouse-scented ropes as well as the two controls used in the pilot study. For snakes of below-average to average condition, the number of captures for traps with live mouse-scented ropes was higher than for traps with no ropes. However, for snakes of above-average condition, there were no differences in capture rates between trap treatments. Overall, treatment effects were weaker than latent individual heterogeneity and the influence of snake body size, with large snakes trapped more readily.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Scented guide ropes as a method to enhance brown treesnake (Boiga irregularis) trap capture success on Guam
Series title Journal of Herpetology
DOI 10.1670/10-026.1
Volume 45
Issue 3
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher BioOne
Description 5 p.
First page 308
Last page 312
Country United States
State Guam
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