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Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 37.2 (2014) Pages: 145-147

An experimental study investigating the ability of volunteers to identify squirrel species from tail–hair samples

Shearer, L. A., Bray, R., Torner, C.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2014.37.0145

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Abstract

Hair–tubes, collecting nape hairs, are widely used for establishing the presence of red (Sciurus vulgaris) and grey (Sciurus carolinensis) squirrels. However it is time–consuming and prone to identification errors. An alternative is to collect tail hairs from sticky pads on baited poles. However, there is no evidence concerning identification accuracy of tail hairs. This study reports an experiment in which subjects underwent a short training session before identifying hair samples from four species. There was a 96.5% correct identification rate for grey squirrel hairs, and 77.5% for red squirrels, which suggests that tail hairs collection may provide a quick, easy and accurate method of identification for both species.

Keywords

Squirrel, Identification, Accuracy, Experiment, Training

Cite

Shearer, L. A., Bray, R., Torner, C., 2014. An experimental study investigating the ability of volunteers to identify squirrel species from tail–hair samples. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 37: 145-147, DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2014.37.0145

Reception date:

20/06/2014

Acceptation date:

01/10/2014

Publication date:

12/12/2014

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