Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) interference with aquatic invertebrate traps

Michael C. Cavallaro, Anson R. Main, Christy A. Morrissey

Abstract


In field biology, interactions between wildlife and in situ equipment occur often. These interactions have the potential to induce a variety of behaviours in local fauna. Here, we note the destructive behaviour exhibited by the Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) following deployment of aquatic invertebrate traps for research purposes at 12 wetlands located in central Saskatchewan. Of 24 aquatic insect emergence traps used on seven wetlands in our study, 14 (58%) required recurring repairs. In addition, on several occasions, leaf litter bags and their anchoring stakes were torn or chewed. The recurring damage took place in wetlands with Muskrat lodges. We recommend structural modifications to aquatic invertebrate traps in wetland complexes densely inhabited by Muskrats and other semi-aquatic rodents.

Keywords


Muskrat; Ondatra zibethicus; aquatic insect emergence traps; destructive behaviour; prairie wetlands; leaf litter bags

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v128i2.1587



Volumes that are more than six years old are freely available courtesy of the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

 


Questions or problems with the website? Contact William Halliday (info -at- canadianfieldnaturalist -dot- ca).