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Bottle trap carnage

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Matt Harris View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Harris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Bottle trap carnage
    Posted: 14 Jun 2013 at 11:14am
Found a missed bottle trap in a pond in cardiff yesterday.

FFS how hard is it to count them out and count them back in again?



Looked inside



Turned out the contents - I can see Great Diving Beetles, but maybe someone with an interest in inverts can pick out some other spp from the photo.



Some examples



Then another one showed up



Same sh1t - different trap



But this time, a Brucey Bonus! Water shrew skull by the look of it.



You can judge for yourselves the amount of time the traps have been there. I may do some digging to see who was the last firm to bottle-trap this pond, but off the top of my head I don't think it's been done since the M4 widening surveys, several years ago.

I guess there's no way of telling if any newts were killed in these traps; all that's left of the beetles is the hard exoskeletons, and for the shrew, just the skull. Maybe closer examination of the mush may have reveled newt bones. No GCNs were recorded in this pond, though a cynical person might say that if they can't count bottles, then how can they tell newts apart.
Local Authority Ecologist
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2013 at 2:24pm
awful - I always think bottle traps should be used as a last resort for surveying, rather than an addition to torching, egg search and egg strips.  A bit lazy in many cases. 
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Chris Monk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Monk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2013 at 4:22pm
As you say Matt, if they can't be sure that they can account for all their traps they shouldn't be doing it. Occasionally I have thought that I have removed all the traps from a pond only to find as I count them into the sacks that one is missing, so I don't leave until I have located it.

I suppose for a lot of consultant's staff it's just a job with no particular love of the animals so they don't pay particular attention just do it on autopilot. "No, not newt trapping again tonight"

Trapping can be valuable in surveying at some sites but people need to be aware of the risks to wildlife. In 20 years I have had 1 dead smooth newt and 1 dead water shrew - and I still regret both of them. It was one of the complaints about the introduction of the new NE GCN Class Licence system that bottle trapping was included in the Class 1 licences with netting, torching, egg search, etc when really people should have had much more training going out with experienced surveyors before being licensed for bottle trapping.
Chris

Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group

www.derbyshirearg.co.uk

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