Evaluation of three indirect methods for surveying European pine marten in a forested area of central Italy
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Fondazione Ethoikos, Convento dell’Osservanza, 53030 Radicondoli, Siena
Publication date: 2013-01-04
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2012;23(2):91-94
Although small carnivore distribution has been widely studied in several countries, not all techniques used for mustelids survey can be efficiently applied in every area and scarce information exists on the effectiveness of different techniques. For this reason we tested three different methods to detect presence and abundance of European pine marten in a forested area of central Italy. Considering the naturally low density of this species and its nocturnal and elusive habits, the choice was addressed to indirect methods: camera trapping, hair tubes, and scats survey. Data were collected from March to June 2009 in 18 km2 study area, where 90 camera traps and 90 hair tubes were positioned as well as 30 transect lines. Although all these methods are used in mustelids surveys, including pine marten, our results suggest that camera trapping is the only effective method to assess the presence and estimate population density of European pine marten in our study area. We stress the need to test different survey methods before starting species monitoring in a new study area.
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