Working with Alberta’s Trappers to Monitor Furbearer Population Trends

We were asked to assist Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) and Alberta Trappers’ Association (ATA) with a pilot project to develop logbooks for trappers to record information about their trapping activities and fur harvesting results. After revisions to the logbook for 2017/18 and a concerted communication effort, the number of logbooks submitted increased ten-fold from the previous year. Trappers spent an average of 186 hours on trapping-related activities during the year, with 42% of that time dedicated to setting and checking traps. On average, trappers set 34 marten traps for about 53 days, catching one marten for every 142 trap nights of effort. We compared age class estimation provided by trappers who used a skull muscle development method to results provided by a lab based on tooth analysis. Overall, there was no difference between the trapper and lab counts. However, trappers were more accurate with their male classification than female. Our results suggest that additional training and exposure to a larger number of skulls can produce accurate results for both sexes.


Alberta Environment and Parks, Alberta Trappers’ Association

Annual Summaries

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Title Year Category
Working with Trappers to Monitor Furbearer Population Trends 2017-2018 2
Working with Alberta’s Trappers to Monitor Furbearer Population Trends 2018-2019 2