Evaluating two new methods for capturing large wetland birds

  • Herring G
  • Gawlik D
  • Beerens J
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ABSTRACT. Waterbird research increasingly involves capturing birds to measure attributes of individuals and for attachment of telemetry devices, but there are few established techniques for capturing wading birds away from their nests. We describe the construction and testing of a new trapping technique for wading birds based on a small flip trap. Our trap was developed to capture wading birds in the Florida Everglades in water less than 30 cm deep, but could also be used to capture other waterbirds and upland species. The primary advantages of this new trap design are its ability to be easily concealed, ability to selectively capture birds, low injury rate, ease of resetting the trap after captures, minimal training requirements for operator, capacity to be fired remotely, and moderate cost. We also evaluated the effectiveness of using a net gun to capture wading birds in wetlands. Our results demonstrated that the net gun was the most effective method for capturing large numbers of wading birds, however, the modified flip trap provides a safer alternative that may be appropriate for endangered species.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Capture techniques
  • Modified flip trap
  • Netgun
  • Trapping techniques
  • Wading birds
  • Waterbirds

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