Drift Fences with Pitfall Traps:
An Effective Technique for Quantitative Sampling of Animal Populations
Whitfield Gibbons and Raymond D. Semlitsch
Lehr Brisbin, Jr., Edward A. Standora and Michael J. Vargo
terrestrial drift fence with pitfall traps is a commonly used technique
to collect and quantitatively sample populations of certain vertebrate
and invertebrate species. However,
a variety of limitations, advantages, biases, and contingencies must
be considered to use the method most effectively.
The best materials to use for these fences and traps have been
aluminum flashing and plastic 20-liter buckets.
Aluminum flashing is rigid and does not deteriorate with age.
Large plastic buckets permit the capture of many species that
can escape from small can traps.
Maintenance, such as filling cracks or escape from small can
traps. Maintenance, such
as filling cracks or holes along the fence, bailing water from traps,
and mowing vegetation alongside fences, are necessary for continued
cost of construction is high, both in time and money; however, drift
fences are cost effective for most ecological studies.
Biases result primarily from variation in morphology, ecology,
and behavior of species, or as a consequence of design and the manner
in which the drift fence is checked and maintained.
SREL Reprint #0804
J.W. and R.D. Semlitsch. 1981. Terrestrial drift fences with pitfall
traps: An effective technique for quantitative sampling of animal populations.
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