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A Camera-trap Survey Targeting Herpetofauna at Naval Air Station, Key West, Florida

Nova J. Silvy1,*, Roel R. Lopez1, Cristian N. Lopez1, Jewel A. Uzquiano2, Philip A. Frank2, and Wendy Wheatley-Techmer3

1Department of Rangeland, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. 2Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. 3Naval Air Station Key West, Key West, FL 33040. *Corresponding author.

Southeastern Naturalist, Volume 21, Issue 3 (2022): 175–186

We surveyed the Naval Air Station in Key West, FL, to document state-listed herpetofauna in 2 different vegetation types using 3 motion-detecting infrared cameras centered within radiating drift fences. Cameras were activated on 21 June 2021 and retrieved on 30 November 2021. Of 225,153 photos taken, 1210 were of vertebrates (603 of herpetofauna, 512 of mammals, and 95 of birds). July produced the most photographs of vertebrates per camera day (6.84/camera day), whereas August had the fewest (1.17/camera day), likely due to low precipitation. The mean time of day when vertebrate photos were taken was midday at 1247 hours. We found no Florida-listed birds or herpetofauna present on Navy lands during our camera-trap research; however, we did have 259 photos of the federally endangered Sylvilagus palustris hefneri (Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit). Additionally, 4 species of invasive herpetofauna were detected.

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