Pereira, J.G., Rosalino, L.M., Reljić, S., Babic, N. & Huber, D. (2022) Factors influencing the success of capturing European brown bears with foot snares.Mammalia, 86(3), 215-224. DOI:10.1515/mammalia-2021-0021 (IF2020 0,944; Q3 Zoology)
Management of free-ranging wildlife may include the capture of animals, with the implication that the capture process is optimized, both logistically and economically and in a way that avoids animal suffering, injury or accidental mortality. Studies targeting the optimization of trapping techniques are scarce, especially when focusing on large European mammals. Therefore, to fill this knowledge gap, we aimed to evaluate key factors that help determine brown bear capture success. This was done by analysing a complete data set from 23 years of capturing free-living Eurasian brown bears in Croatia by using Aldrich-type foot snares. Results showed significantly higher capture efficiency when traps were located at permanent feeding sites when compared to temporary feeding sites. Also, the use of a trail trap design was significantly more efficient in capturing bears than using a cubby set. Finally, results showed that trapping was more efficient when we bait the traps more frequently and when we implemented longer trap-sessions, with at least 14 days.