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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fine Tuning Pocket Gopher (Thomomys bottae) in Alfalfa Fields of Southern Utah

  • Author(s): Frey, S. Nicole
  • Nelson, Mark
  • et al.

We compared trapping vs. traditional strychnine baiting to control pocket gophers in alfalfa fields in southern Utah. Additionally, we compared trapping efficiency of three different pocket gopher traps: Macabee, Cinch, and DK-1. Baiting and trapping resulted in similar levels of pocket gopher activity and reduced pocket gopher activity in study plots (P = 0.02). When comparing the three trap types, Macabee was the most successful at trapping pocket gophers (P = 0.004). Macabee traps were also the most time-efficient (P = 0.02). Trapping success was very low; future work needs to focus on increased study plot size, trapping density, and modifying traps to improve trapping success of larger animals.

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