Researchers have obtained mixed results in studies that use prebaiting to enhance small mammal trapping success. In 2004–2005 we tested the effects of prebaiting on small mammal trapping success in an exotic and invasive shrub community, Morrow's honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii), using 4 80 × 120-m live trapping grids at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, USA. We randomly assigned traps to 1 of 3 trapping methods: we prebaited one-third of the traps 2 nights (n = 3,508 trap-nights), one-third one night (n = 3,492 trap-nights), and one-third had no prebaiting (n = 3,509 trap-nights). We compared small mammal richness, diversity, and relative abundance (no. captures/100 trap-nights) of white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus; n = 462 captures), meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus; n = 89 captures), meadow jumping mice (Zapus hudsonius; n = 221 captures), masked shrews (Sorex cinereus; n = 87 captures), and shorttail shrews (Blarina brevicauda; n = 78 captures) among prebaited traps and non-prebaited traps. On the first day of trapping, as well as all 4 days combined, richness, diversity, and relative abundance for all species were similar among traps that we had prebaited for 2 nights, one night, and zero nights (P = 0.856). Moreover, total number of captures was similar among prebaiting treatments (P = 0.197). These results suggest that prebaiting does not enhance trapping success for small mammals in a landscape dominated by a dense, exotic shrub. We recommend that managers do not employ prebaiting in areas with similar small mammal species composition in an attempt to increase trapping success, as we did not record a difference in trapping success in prebaited traps compared to non-prebaited traps.
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Vol. 71 • No. 1