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How many? Self Portraits Bait the Trap Spot the Difference

Bait the Trap
Cats are known to like perfumes and other scents. In order to attract more animals to camera traps, field workers sometimes “bait” them with scents.

WCS conservation biologist Carolyn Miller says this is the only photograph that shows a jaguar reacting to a scent. But even though the photographs caught only one jaguar in the act of responding to the perfume, data suggest that different scents can affect a camera's ability to catch sight of a jaguar.

Check out the chart below to see data of jaguar captures when traps are baited with different scents and then answer the field notebook questions below.

LEFT: Researchers holding perfume that they will suspend above a camera trap to try to attract a jaguar

RIGHT: This male is apparently reacting to the scent--Calvin Klein Obsession perfume--suspended above on the pink string and q-tip.

Scent-lure Effectiveness Comparison

Date Scent Type Trap Nights
1993-2003(3) no scent 4093 87
2000 Sardines/CK Obsession 51 0
2001 Sardines/CK Obsession/Other(4) 268 12
2001 Mega Musk/Catnip oil 46 3
2001 Pro's Choice/Catnip oil 17 1

(1) A trap night refers to a 24 hr period in which a trap was active. Trap nights equal the sum of the total number of nights each trap was active. If 5 traps were active each night of the year, then the trap nights would equal 5 traps x 365 nights = 1825 trap nights.
(2) captures/trap nights x 100 to standardize
(3) 1993-1994, 1998-2000, 2001
(4) as recommended by Boddicker

Divide the numbers of "captures" by the number of trap nights and multiply by 100.
This will give you the capture rate for each scent. (jaguars/trap nights x 100)

  1. Based on your analysis of this data, which scent produces the highest capture rate? How does that rate compare to the no scent rate?

2. Do you think you have enough data to support the conclusion that jaguars are more likely to go to a scented trap than an unscented trap? Why or why not?



Field Notebook

2006 Wildlife Conservation Society.