The steps necessary to conduct a pitfall trapping survey for small terrestrial vertebrates are presented. Descriptions of the materials needed and the methods to build trapping equipment from raw materials are discussed. Recommended data collection techniques are given along with suggested data fields. Animal specimen processing procedures, including toe- and scale-clipping, are described for lizards, snakes, frogs, and salamanders. Methods are presented for conducting vegetation surveys that can be used to classify the environment associated with each pitfall trap array. Techniques for data storage and presentation are given based on commonly use computer applications. As with any study, much consideration should be given to the study design and methods before beginning any data collection effort.
- Fisher et al. 2008. Herpetological monitoring using a pitfall trapping design in southern California. U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 2-A5, 44 p. [PDF]