U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

December 2003


Published by Wildlife Society Bulletin 2003,31(3):630-633.


The ability to capture and recapture animals efficiently is ,In integral part of many wildlife studies. For many species of small terrestrial carnivores, the baited box trap has been a staple of live-capture trapping efforts. Combined with an enclosure, the box trap is especially effective on species with a den or refuge that can be encircled. However, increased trapping success of these enclosure designs often is offset by increased cost, labor, and awkwardness of transporting and establishing the enclosure trap. We describe a new enclosure design, the tunnel trap, which improves on the mobility and effectiveness of previous enclosure designs. 1Ve tested the tunnel trap on the fossorial kit fox (Vulpes macrotis) on the United States Army's Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, from January 1999-September 2001. Over a period of 18 separate trapping events, 15 resulted in capture of a kit fox. We calculated trapping success to be 83%, and we captured an average of 0.6 kit foxes per trap-night. The trap effectively captured kit foxes or different age classes in a variety of terrains and seasons.