Date of this Version
Wildlife Society Bulletin 37(3):623–630; 2013; DOI: 10.1002/wsb.295
Recently, island fox (Urocyon littoralis) populations on 4 of 6 California Channel Islands (USA) were greatly reduced by colonizing golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) and a suspected outbreak of disease, creating concern for subspecies on all islands. Consequently, efforts of live-trapping foxes for research, monitoring, and vaccination has increased. Despite increased trapping efforts, evaluation of factors that influence capture success has not been conducted. We examined capture success of island foxes at 85 random trapping locations on San Clemente Island during 170 trap-nights during 2006–2007. We captured 98 island foxes, and found that traps placed ≤10 m from primary roads had higher overall capture success (i.e., 1.52 times more likely to capture foxes) than traps placed at random locations throughout the study area. We found no evidence to suggest that the density of edges between land-cover types (i.e., sum length of edges per 100-m buffered area [m/m2]), nightly temperature, proportions of land-cover, or type of attractant tested (n = 3) affected capture success. All attractants captured similar proportions of sex and age classes of foxes. Our findings suggest that future trapping efforts would have the most success if conducted along roads.