Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
This survey was conducted in early July and consisted of setting four livetraps (same trap described for striped skunks) for 5 days in a cluster along each linear 1.6 km of the center road of each study area for a maximum of 200 trap-days (one trap set for 1 day) per study area. Traps were moved each day to a new site; traps in a cluster were >20 m apart and trap sites were >200 m apart. A trap site was defined as an area less than or equal to 2 ha. Trapping was conducted on consecutive days. If it was interrupted by inclement weather, it was resumed when conditions improved. Traps were baited with canned sardines and set in the most suitable sites (e.g., brush or densest available upland vegetation) <400 m from the center road. Traps were set daily between sunrise and 0900 h, left overnight, and checked the next morning during the same time period. We assumed all captures occurred during daytime because Franklin's ground squirrels are diurnal (Choromanski-Norris et al. 1989). Caught animals were released at capture sites when traps were checked. The most useful index from this survey was capture rate (the sum of caught Franklin's ground squirrels divided by the sum of trap-days). The percentage of 2.6 km2 units of each study area in which Franklin's ground squirrels were caught was useful for describing distribution in study areas.