Estimating the population density of American burying beetle (Nicrophorus americanus) on the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant in southeastern Oklahoma
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) protocols, designed to detect ABB within a given area, prescribe a single trap to sample 2 km2. In order to address the cogency of this protocol to estimate population density, we will simultaneously sample paired 2 km2 grids that contain either a single trap or 16 equidistantly spaced traps to achieve saturation sampling. Using this trapping method, we can determine whether a single trap can truly estimate the ABB density in 2 km2; if not, a conversion factor will be created. Preliminary results indicate that a single trap catches approximately ¼ of catchable beetles in a 2 km2. If these results remain consistent through the reminder of the study, a conversion factor or an adjustment of the trapping protocol may be required when estimating population density using a single trap.