European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 58, Issue 5, pp 881–884 | Cite as

The effect of attractant lures in camera trapping: a case study of population estimates for the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus)

  • Germán Garrote
  • José María Gil-Sánchez
  • Emil B. McCain
  • Santiago de Lillo
  • José Luis Tellería
  • Miguel Ángel Simón
Technical Notes


Capture–recapture analysis of camera trap data is a conventional method to estimate the abundance of free-ranging wild felids. Due to notorious low detection rates of felids, it is important to increase the detection probability during sampling. In this study, we report the effectiveness of attractants as a tool for improving the efficiency of camera trap sampling in abundance estimation of Iberian lynx. We developed a grid system of camera stations in which stations with and without attractant lures were spatially alternated across known Iberian lynx habitat. Of the ten individuals identified, five were detected at stations with no attractant (blind sets), and nine, at the lured stations. Thirty-eight percent of blind set station’s independent captures and 10 % of lured station’s independent captures resulted in photographs unsuitable for correct individual identification. The total capture probability at lured stations was higher than that obtained at blind set stations. The estimates obtained with blind set cameras underestimated the number of lynxes compared to lured cameras. In our study, it appears that the use of lures increased the efficiency of trail camera captures and, therefore, the accuracy of capture–recapture analysis. The observed failure to detect known individuals at blind set camera stations may violate capture–recapture assumptions and bias abundance estimates.


Lynx pardinus Iberian lynx Camera trapping Capture–recapture Population estimates Attractant lure 


  1. Chamberlain MJ, Mangrum JW, Leopold BD, Hill EP (1999) A comparison of attractants used for carnivore track surveys. Proc Annu Conf Southeast Assoc Fish Wildl Agencies 53:296–304Google Scholar
  2. Dillon A, Kelly MJ (2007) Ocelot Leopardus pardalis in Belize: the impact of trap spacing and distance moved on density estimates. Oryx 41:469–477Google Scholar
  3. Garrote G, Perez de Ayala R, Pereira P, Robles F, Guzman N, García F, Iglesias MC, Hervás J, Fajardo I, Simón M, Barroso JL (2011) Estimation of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) population in the Doñana area, SW Spain, using capture-recapture analysis of camera-trapping data. Eur J Wildl Res 57:355–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gil-Sánchez JM, Moral M, Bueno J, Rodríguez-Siles J, Lillo S, Pérez J, Martín JM, Valenzuela G, Garrote G, Torralba B, Simón-Mata MA (2011) The use of camera trapping for estimating Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) home ranges. Eur J Wildl Res. doi:10.1007/s10344-011-0533-y
  5. Guil F, Agudín S, El-Khadir N, Fernandez-Olalla M, Figueredo J, Domínguez FG, Garzon P, Gonzalez G, Muñoz-Igualada J, Oria J (2010) Factors conditioning the camera-trapping efficiency for the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus). Eur J Wildl Res 56:633–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Guzmán N, García FJ, Garrote G, Pérez de Ayala R, Iglesias C (2004) El lince ibérico (Lynx pardinus) en España y Portugal. Censo-diagnóstico de sus poblaciones. Dirección General para la Biodiversidad, MadridGoogle Scholar
  7. Harmsen BJ, Foster RJ, Doncaster CP (2010) Heterogeneous capture rates in low density populations and consequences for capture-recapture analysis of camera-trap data. Popul Ecol 53:253–259CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Henschel P, Ray J (2003) Leopards in African rainforests: survey and monitoring techniques. WCS Global Carnivore Program. Wildlife Conservation SocietyGoogle Scholar
  9. Howard ME, Zuercher GL, Gipson PS, Livingston TR (2002) Efficacy of feces as an attractant for mammalian carnivores. Southwest Nat 47(3):348–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Jackson RM, Roe JD, Wangchuk R, Hunter DO (2006) Estimating snow leopard population abundance using photography and capture-recapture techniques. Wildl Soc Bul 34:772–781CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Karanth KU, Nichols JD (1998) Estimation of tiger densities in India using photographic captures and recaptures. Ecology 79:2852–2862CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Karanth KU, Nichols JD (eds) (2002) Monitoring tigers and their prey: A manual for researchers, managers and conservationists in tropical Asia. Centre for Wildlife Studies, BangaloreGoogle Scholar
  13. Larrucea ES, Serra G, Jaeger MM, Barrett RH (2007) Censusing bobcats using remote cameras. Western North Am Nat 67(4):538–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Maffei L, Noss AJ, Silver SC, Kelly M (2011) Abundance/density case study: Jaguars in the Americas. In: O’connell AF, Nichols JD, Karanth KU (eds) Camera traps in animal ecology: Methods and analyses. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. McCain EB, Childs JL (2008) Evidence of resident jaguars (Panthera onca) in the southwestern United States and the implications for conservation. J Mammal 89(1):1–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Otis DL, Burnham G, White C, Anderson DR (1978) Statistical inference from capture data on closed animal populations. Wildl Monogr 62:1–135Google Scholar
  17. Rexstad E, Burnham KP (1991) User’s guide for interactive program CAPTURE. Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Fort CollinsGoogle Scholar
  18. Silveira L, Anah TA, Jacomo ATA, Astete S, Sollmann R, Torres NM, Furtado MM, Marinho-Filho J (2009) Density of the near threatened jaguar Panthera onca in the Caatinga of north-eastern Brazil. Oryx 44(1):104–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Silver SC, Ostro LET, Marsh LK, Maffei L, Noss AJ, Kelly MJ, Wallace RB, RB G, Guido Ayala H (2004) The use of camera traps for estimating jaguar Panthera onca abundance and density using capture/recapture analysis. Oryx 38(No 2)Google Scholar
  20. Simón MA, Gil-Sánchez JM, Ruiz M, Garrote G, McCain E, Fernández L, López-Parra M, Rojas E, Arenas-Rojas R, del Rey T, García-Tardío M, López G (2012) Reverse of the decline of the endangered Iberian lynx. Conserv Biol. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01871.x
  21. Trolle M, Kéry M (2003) Estimation of ocelot density in the Pantanal using capture-recapture analysis of camera-trapping data. J Mammal 84:607–614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wegge P, Pokheral CP, Jnawali SR (2004) Effects of trapping effort and trap shyness on estimates of tiger abundance from camera trap studies. Anim Conserv 7:251–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. White GC, Anderson DR, Burnham KP, Otis DL (1982) Capture–recapture and removal methods for sampling closed populations. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los AlamosGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Germán Garrote
    • 1
    • 2
  • José María Gil-Sánchez
    • 1
  • Emil B. McCain
    • 3
    • 4
  • Santiago de Lillo
    • 1
  • José Luis Tellería
    • 2
  • Miguel Ángel Simón
    • 5
  1. 1.Equipo Life Lince Ibérico, Agencia de Medioambiente y AguaConsejería de Medio Ambiente Junta de AndalucíaJaénSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Zoología y Antropología Física, Facultad de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain
  3. 3.Iberus Medio Ambiente S.L.JaénSpain
  4. 4.Parque Natural Sierra de AndújarAndújarSpain
  5. 5.Consejería de Medioambiente, Junta de AndalucíaJaénSpain

Personalised recommendations