Prairie dog eradication negatively affects dependent wildlife. Assessing the effects of prairie dog activities on reptiles and amphibians may depend upon the efficacy of trapping designs. We compared capture rates of reptiles and amphibians on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and on adjacent uncolonized short-grass prairie, using funnel traps and pitfall traps with drift fences, as well as ground captures. We captured 152 reptiles and amphibians representing 10 species. We captured 51.3% of all reptiles and amphibians on colonies, compared to 48.7% from uncolonized sites. Overall, captures of reptiles and amphibians were similar on colonies and uncolonized sites for all capture methods combined. We achieved higher capture rates on uncolonized sites using funnel traps and pitfall traps but higher capture rates on colonies for ground captures. For all years on all sites combined, we captured significantly more animals in funnel traps (52.6%), surpassing pitfall trap captures (23.0%) and ground captures (24.3%). We recommend using multiple Y-shaped drift fence arrays ≥ 7.6 m in length, funnel traps with double-ended openings, and black-colored pitfall traps with opening diameters ≥ 30 cm.
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Vol. 68 • No. 2