A Comparison of Herpetofauna Detection and Capture Techniques in Southern New Mexico

Eric E. Jorgensen, Stephen Demarais


We conducted systematic trials of four herpetofauna survey methods to assess their effectiveness in the Chihuahuan desert. Drift fences with pitfall and funnel traps, pitfall traps without fences, artificial habitats (with and without water added), and line transects were paired in arroyos and adjacent uplands. Times taken to set up, maintain, and remove survey materials were recorded. Twenty-seven captures or detections of six species were recorded. While the unwatered artificial habitats were most efficient in capture rate for all species pooled, the distribution of the species captured indicated that to give representative results, surveys should incorporate a combination of techniques. More extensive trials would be useful in confirming these results and assessing seasonal effects.


survey; inventory; monitoring; community

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