Low and variable rates of capture are chronic problems in chelonian studies. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate protocols for future inventories of turtles in Illinois by comparing capture efficiency and species coverage for 2 devices (hoop net and cage trap), baits (fresh and day-old fish), habitats (lentic and lotic) and time periods . We accrued 402 captures of 378 individuals representing 7 species. At Sanganois State Fish and Wildlife Area (Sanganois), hoop nets produced more captures of more species (n = 231; 6 species) than cage traps (n = 119; 4 species). Statistical tests were equivocal for a reach of the Sangamon River, where both devices had 26 captures but hoop nets detected more species (n = 6) than cage traps (n = 3). At Sanganois, catch per unit effort varied with sampling session (time) and freshness of baits; one measure of species coverage varied with session. Results helped us make informed decisions about protocols for future inventories.
Bluett, Robert D., Schauber, Eric M., Bloomquist, Craig K. and Brown, Douglas A. "Sampling Assemblages of Turtles in Central Illinois: A Case Study of Capture Efficiency and Species Coverage." Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 104, No. 3 & 4 (Jan 2011): 127-136. doi:ilacadofsci.com/archives/396.