The performance of wild-canid traps in Australia: efficiency, selectivity and trap-related injuries

Wild dogs and European red foxes are considered pest animals in Australia. Restraining devices to capture these wild canids are sometimes required by wildlife managers. However, the use of traps is controversial. This paper discusses the efficiency, selectivity and injuries inflicted by some leg-hold traps that are available in Australia for capturing wild canids. The trapping of feral cats with wild-canid traps is also briefly discussed.

The most commonly used leg-hold trap in Australia is the toothed, steel-jawed, leg-hold trap. Alternative traps, including offset- and padded-jawed traps (similar to the Victor Soft Catch®), and steel-jawed traps that have been modified to incorporate padding and off-setting of jaws, were shown to be preferable. The alternative traps were as efficient and selective as toothed, steel-jawed traps, but were less injurious. The Treadle snare, although more likely to miss target animals, was also shown to be less injurious than unmodified, steel-jawed leg-hold traps. It is difficult to justify the continued use of unmodified, steel-jawed leg-hold traps for the capture of wild canids in Australia.

Author Fleming, P. J. S., Allen, L. R., Berghout, M. J., Meek, P. D., Pavlov, P. M., Stevens, P., Strong, K., Thompson, J. A. and Thomson, P. C.
Year 1998
Secondary title Wildlife Research
Volume 25
Pages 327-338
Control method Trapping
Region Australia - national