Ghost traps

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lateralis
Posts: 320
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:56 pm
Location: SW USA

Ghost traps

Post by lateralis »

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Someone apparently likes to use pitfall arrays in riverside county. This array was obviously NOT associated with any legitimate research (no permits, no notices, just 4-5 traps left in place with two still working but obviously not checked based on the number of dead insects and rodents). These were left in a known Rosy Boa locale at the base of a talus slope at the head of the canyon. Based on the condition of the cover boards and buckets, I would say they have been there less than a year.

Ghost nets in the oceans are bad enough, now we have to start leaving a version of these on land? I took some pictures but I don't think I have a photo bucket account anymore. If anyone on this forum is responsible, know that your pitfalls ( the ones you were too lazy to dig up or render safe for the wildlife) have been removed and I've let some friends know to keep an eye on the area. I'd also like to thank you personally for providing the opportunity to potentially break my ankle so pm me and lets meet up for a beer.

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Jeff
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 5:01 am
Location: Louisiana

Re: Ghost traps

Post by Jeff »

Lateralis
On the dead animal tangent: traps for reptiles can logistically (not legally) go unchecked for days, because reptiles can live for several days to weeks in such conditions. Rodents usually perish before 24 hours, which is unfortunate. I have operated scientific trap arrays for years, and the rodent/insect mortality is sad, but happens despite provision of water and food.
If your operator is trapping for reptiles, I recommend surveilling the traps for a week or two to determine the "who" part of this operation.
Jeff

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lateralis
Posts: 320
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:56 pm
Location: SW USA

Re: Ghost traps

Post by lateralis »

Hi Jeff,

Appreciate the information; I've operated or supervised pitfall arrays on and off over the past 30 years of my career in support of work from the SW to Central America with a lot of work at Fort Ord, Camp Roberts and innumerable environmental documents in the Mojave Desert. If you are running them right, you typically don't have any loss unless its a predation issue or act of god. Permit conditions and paying attention to detail/environment are you're best friends when doing this type of work.

Based on the evidence; these schmucks probably won't come back. People that do this type of thing are inherently lazy and irresponsible. If, on the other hand they do return? Some friends may be contacting them down the road....

Jimi
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Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: Ghost traps

Post by Jimi »

If you are running them right, you typically don't have any loss unless its a predation issue or act of god.
Even shrews? I have not released many live shrews from live traps (even those checked 2x/d), except for Suncus murinus, a stinky whopper of a shrew.

stlouisdude
Posts: 430
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT

Re: Ghost traps

Post by stlouisdude »

You could put up a cheap trail camera and see who it is if truly interested. I've never come across a illegitimate pitfall trap yet and I hope I never do. It is concerning that someone might do such a thing without proper permits and especially that they may just leave such a thing in place once they are done with it or that they might not check it regularly. The amount of dangers wildlife faces just keeps growing by the day. With people fleeing cities, I am seeing more development than ever, more off leash dogs than ever, more ebikes ripping up and down hillsides, more discarded water bottles, fishing line, masks and litter, more land cleared for solar panels, more bats chopped up by wind turbines, it never ends.

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Porter
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Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Ghost traps

Post by Porter »

stlouisdude wrote:
May 8th, 2021, 2:50 pm
I am seeing more development than ever, more off leash dogs than ever, more ebikes ripping up and down hillsides, more discarded water bottles, fishing line, masks and litter, more land cleared for solar panels, more bats chopped up by wind turbines, it never ends.
Same over here in Northern/central CA. A huge chunk of thamnophis gigas habitat has become an area of new development. I've seen no snakes even near it since development began and it was one of the best roads for all native species (racers, gophers, valleys, gigas, kings). The 3 little kings that appeared in my Mattress thread, also got plowed over this year. I was driving past it to check another spot and had planned to check on them later that day. No more than 30 seconds before I passed the 3 baby king spot, a tractor had cut right over all 3 boards. Leaving a dirt road over the top of them. Hopefully they venture off from there before then, but most likely not because it was the beginning of spring. If they weren't under the boards or hiding in the holes beneath them, they got dug over later that week with the rest of the field.

stlouisdude
Posts: 430
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm
Location: St Louis, MO / Hartford, CT

Re: Ghost traps

Post by stlouisdude »

We need land preservation on a massive scale and it would be a nice touch is people would follow the rules while visiting those places.

craigb
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Location: Southern Cal.
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Re: Ghost traps

Post by craigb »

More than 30 years ago my friends and I came across some pit traps in the Long Beach oil fields. They were placed under AC (concrete piles, wood, trash) and baited with insects. These were not in away way research materials. We left them there a month or so then just ripped them out and took the buckets home. This was a great dump site. There were Kingsnakes, Gophersnakes, Red racers, toads, slender salamanders, newts, fence lizards, alligator lizards, and skinks. There was no need for the traps. All these animals could be caught by hand relatively frequently. We had been collecting there for years, before we found the traps were added. This was in about 1972 -73.

craigb
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Re: Ghost traps

Post by craigb »

Further, the fields I am talking about were dozed over in the 1990s. There are strip malls and condos there now.

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