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You are here: Home / Associated publications / Belgian Journal of Zoology / Bibliographic References / Efficiency of live trapping protocols to assess small mammal diversity in tropical rainforests of Sri Lanka

Mayuri Wijesinghe (2010)

Efficiency of live trapping protocols to assess small mammal diversity in tropical rainforests of Sri Lanka


Live trapping is used extensively for small mammal studies in both temperate and tropical ecosystems. The effectiveness of such studies is dependent on several factors. This paper attempts to investigate how one of these factors, namely the trapping intensity, affects the assessment of species richness and abundance of small mammals in rainforest ecosystems in southwest Sri Lanka. Eight-day live trapping surveys were conducted in seven selected forests yielding a total of 5600 trap days with a total of 186 individuals belonging to nine species being captured. It was evident that, using 100 traps with a trap density of 140 traps per ha, over 90\% of the species recorded from each of the seven forests were captured within the initial four days of live trapping after which the rate of capture of new species sharply declined. The results also show that the more common species were captured sooner than the more rare ones. Considering these trends, a four-day trapping protocol could be recommended to broadly compare small mammal communities between forests or habitat types. The number of individuals captured, on the other hand, probably attracted by the bait, increased as trapping progressed; this very likely leads to overestimation of species abundance. Since such projects in developing countries are subject to budgetary constraints, costs incurred are also addressed.

Duration; live trapping; rainforest; small mammals; Sri Lanka
  • ISSN: 0777-6276

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium


Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
Belgian Journal of Zoology