Cage-traps are Friendly and Informative in Predator Control Programs
Keywords:Predator control, animal welfare, cage-traps, health monitoring, wildlife management
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature organization (WWF), hunting has been directly responsible for the extinction of 270 species. In consequence, people began to call for more rational control measures that could preserve all animal species, like the predator control. This study aimed to determine whether cage-traps are safe enough to be applied in rational predator management systems in rural areas with a stable population of endangered species. Trapping was undertaken for 18 months using 218 cage traps, which means 114,450 trap-nights. A total of 115 animals were caught (91 target species and 24 non-target species). Cage traps did not damage most animals; only six external trap-related injuries were detected, just in target species. Hence, the absence of damage was over the standard 80 % required by internationally agreed indicators. Our results seem to indicate that it is possible to develop and assess a rational predator management system on hunting reserves leading to a reduction in predator populations with the least possible impact on target and non-target animal species. These results have also been very useful in providing valuable information about the safety of these traps and their impact on animal welfare.
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