Joseph Jacquot & Paul Keenlance
Trapping, Acoustic detection, camera trapping, live trapping, flying squirrels, northern flying squirrels
Animal Sciences | Biology
Renas, Phathit, "The Status of Northern Flying Squirrels in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan" (2020). Student Summer Scholars Manuscripts. 213.
Being able to determine the presence of a species is imperative to proper wildlife management. This is especially true if the species is sensitive or endangered. Common methods of surveying like live trapping are invasive, labor-intensive, and often fail to give sufficient detection rates. New methods utilizing technological advancements give the opportunity to survey more effectively for species. We conducted a comparison of three trapping methods with the U.S. forest service to determine the viability of each for surveying northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) which is a species of concern. We compared live trapping and two noninvasive techniques, camera trapping, and acoustic detection in Mio which is in the Huron Manistee National Forest of Michigan’s lower peninsula. We created trapping grids at two separate locations where we totaled 1,836 live trapping nights, 142 nights of acoustic surveying, and 108 camera trapping nights. We compared these methods using the amount of effort time each took and the captures per 100 trap nights. Acoustic detection efforts took 14 total hours of time and had a capture rate of 560.0 captures/100 trap nights. Camera trapping efforts took 12.5 hours and had a capture rate of 29.0 captures/ 100 trap nights. Live trapping took 104.8 hours and had a capture rate of 0.285 captures/ 100 trap nights. While noninvasive techniques were shown to be more efficient, they do not allow for the accurate species identification provided by live trapping. This study demonstrated the viability of each method and when implementation of each would be appropriate. Further technological advancements could further improve protocols for noninvasive techniques.