The primary goal of the Weasel Working Group it to improve monitoring of weasel species across North America. To that end, we meet regularly to develop collaborative projects that improve our methods for detecting and studying weasels.
Winter 2022 Bait/Lure Trials
Project Duration: January - April 2022
Objective: Determine which lure is most effective and how much bait influences detection of weasels.
We selected sites to deploy clusters of cameras where we though we were most likely to get a weasel detection (i.e., places where there are recent sightings of weasels). The clustered design was chosen to evaluate if weasels are making a “choice” at a site among different bait/lure combinations. Each camera/lure treatment within a cluster was between 4 -20 m apart, and we randomized which which 4 of the 6 treatments (see below) were deployed at a cluster such that only 2 lures are used at a single cluster. Most sites were in different range states and ran ~3 clusters. Cameras were deployed for at least 2 months between January - May (winter), with cameras and bait/lure refreshed every 2-4 weeks.
At each camera, we placed bait/lure 30cm high on a tree or log (higher if needed due to snow). Cameras were set on a tree within 1.5-2m of the bait/lure, and set to record video. The 6 bait/lure treatments were:
At each baited treatment we applied 2 tablespoons/golf ball of ground up mouse secured to a tree in either a (1) perforated film canister (separate from lure canister), or (2) with hardware cloth or metal cage.