Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


During the summer of 1980, a baseline sampling of the herpetofauna of an eight square mile tract of sandsage prairie in southwestern Kansas was conducted. Seven trapping methods were employed: drift fence-pit traps; pitfall traps; funnel traps; artificial cover; seining; cruising roads; and capture by hand while walking. Four habitat types consisting of floodplain, dune sands, choppy sands, and level sands, were delineated and thoroughly trapped. The most effective trapping method for herptiles and small mammals was a linear drift fence-pit trap, 240 m in length. The most productive habitat was the choppy sands. During the summer of 1980, the herpetofauna of sandsage prairie was sampled on a tract of land south of Holcomb, Finney County, Kansas. Traps were in operation on 19 May - 20 June, 2 July - 11 July, and 5 August 14 August. The eight square mile area, planned as the future site for a coal-fired electrical generating plant, consisted of lightly grazed, native sandsage prairie as described in detail by Choate et al. (1981) and as summarized by Rush et al. (1981). The survey afforded an opportunity to test several types of collecting techniques for amphibians and reptiles in a relatively uniform area. Small mammals also were obtained and are reported herein. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the relative effectiveness of seven different collecting techniques on the sandsage prairie.


Dr. Eugene Flaherty

Date of Award

Summer 1981

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1981 Michael Rush


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