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Pitfall trapping does not reliably index the diet or prey resources of Masked Lapwings

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Pages
16 – 20

Published
18 April 16

Authors
Dylan V. Roche, Daniel Lees, Adam P.A. Cardilini, Grainne S. Maguire, Peter Dann, Michael A. Weston

DOI
10.18194/ws.00025

Correspondence
Michael Weston
mike.weston@deakin.edu.au
Centre for Integrative Ecology, Faculty of Science, Engineering and the Built Environment, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia

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Vertebrate ecologists often assess invertebrate prey resources using techniques which sample invertebrate assemblages, and assume such sampling reflects the diet of their focal species. We compare the invertebrate assemblages as recorded by pitfall traps for Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles breeding territories in Phillip Island, Australia, and show that these differ from assemblages recorded in the stomach contents of local Masked Lapwings. Pitfalls traps did not reveal any difference in assemblages between sites where Masked Lapwings bred, and sites where they did not. Thus, pitfall trapping alone is unlikely to adequately index prey availability for Masked Lapwings.