Main Article Content

Farah Shafawati Mohd-Taib
Siti Nabilah Ishak


The ecological study of small mammals often uses the cage-trapping method, installed with baits. Capture rates vary according to different baits used. We want to determine the bait preferences by different small mammal groups. The cage-trapping approach used common domestic bait types available, namely, aromatic banana, sweet potato with peanut butter, oil palm fruit, dried salted fish, jackfruit, and roasted coconut flesh. Sampling was conducted in three different habitat categories, namely urban, semi-urban, and recreational forests, located in Selangor, Malaysia, for one year. A total of 537 small mammals from 15 species were sampled, which was then grouped into seven groups (i.e., Rattus sp., Maxomys sp., Sundamys sp., Leopaldamys sabanus, Suncus murinus, squirrels, and Tupaia glis). Bait preferences were significantly different among the different small mammal groups, i.e., F (6,35) = 5.621, p = 0.000, with bananas shown to be most preferred bait, followed by oil palm fruits and sweet potatoes. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) analysis revealed that the Rattus species encompassed the most diverse bait preference, while S. murinus and L. sabanus were the most selective. Muridae preferred sweet potatoes with peanut butter over bananas, while Sciuridae and Tupaiidae preferred bananas, and Soricidae preferred dried salted fish. This study elucidates the most effective bait selection for different small mammal assemblages, serving as a guide to increase capture rates when sampling targeted population of small mammals. Apart from that, it is helpful for effective rodent pest control. 


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Original Articles


Amni WN., Ravindran S., Saufi S., Hamid NH., Zainal-Abidin CMR., Ahamad AH. & Salim, H. (2019). Commensal Small Mammal Species and Bait Preferences in Urban Areas of Penang Island. Malaysia Journal of Science 38(2): 18-30.

Aplin, K.P., Brown, P.R., Jacob, J., Krebs, C.J. & Singleton, G.R. (2003). Field methods forrodent studies in Asia and the Indo-Pacific, pp 223, ACIAR Monograph 100 ACIAR, Canberra.

Avenant NL. (2000). Small mammal community characteristics as indicators of ecological disturbance in the Willem Pretorius Nature Reserve, Free State, South Africa. African Journal of Wildlife Research 30(1): 26-33.

Beer JR. (1964). Bait preferences of some small mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 45(4): 632-634.

Bernard H. (2003). Bait preferences of some Small Mammal Species of North Borneo based on Line-trapping with Wire-mesh Live Cage Traps. Sabah Parks Nature 6: 27-44.

Charles JK. & Ang BB. (2010). Non-volant small mammal community responses to fragmentation of Kerangas forests in Brunei Darussalam. Biodiversity Conservation 19:543–561.

Fitch HS. (1954). Seasonal acceptance of bait by small mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 35:39-47.

Francis, C.M. (2008). A Field Guide to the Mammals of South-east Asia, pp 392, London, UK: New Holland Publishers.

Glass, G.E., Childs, J.E., Korch, G.W. & LeDuc, J.W. (1989). Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History. Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas; Comparative ecology and social interactions of Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) populations in Baltimore, Maryland, pp 130.

Hafidzi MN, Zakry FAZ. & Saadiah A. (2007). Ectoparasites of Rattus sp. from Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agriculture Science 30(1): 11-16.

Harkins KM, Keinath D. & Ben-David M. (2019). It’s a trap: Optimizing detection of rare small mammals. PLoS ONE 14(3): e0213201.

Hize CL. & Velazco PM. (2013). Relative Effectiveness of Several Bait and Trap Types for Assessing Terrestrial Small Mammal Communities in Neotropical Rainforest. Occasional Papers Museum of Texas Tech University, pp 316.

Ishak SN, Yusof MA, Md. Nor S, Mohd-Sah SA, Lim FS, Khoo JJ. & Mohd-Taib FS. (2018). Prevalence of on-host ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) in small mammals collected from forest near to human vicinity in Selangor, Malaysia. Systematic & Applied Acarology 23(8): 1531–1544.

Jones C, McShea WJ, Conroy MJ. & Kunz TH. (1996). Capturing mammals. In: Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity, Standard Methods for Mammals, (eds) D.E. Wilson, F.R. Cole, J.D. Nichols, R. Rudran & M.S. Foster, pp. 115–155. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.

Jorgensen EE. (2004). Small Mammal Use of Microhabitat Reviewed. Journal of Mammalogy 85(3): 531-539.

Kemper, C, & Bell, D. (1985). Small mammals and habitat structure in lowland rain forest of Peninsular Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Ecology 1(1): 5-22.

King WJ, Wilson ME, Allen T, Festa-Bianchet M. & Coulson G. (2011). A capture technique for free-ranging eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) habituated to humans. Australian Mammalogy 33: 47–51.

Kok AD, Parker DM. & Barker NP. (2013) Rules of Attraction: The role of bait in small mammal sampling at high altitude in South Africa. African Zoology 48: 84–95.

Kumar AV, Linzey DW. & Smith CR. (2013). Bait Preferences and Population Status of Small Mammals in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Journal of the North Carolina Academy of Science 192 (2): 44-52.

Lee CH. & Goh HS. (2000). Rodent species in mangosteen intercropped with coconuts and their bait preferences. Journal of Tropical Agriculture and Foundation Science 28(1): 31-37.

Lee LL. (1997). Effectiveness of Live Traps and Snap Traps in Trapping Small Mammals in Kinmen. Acta Zoologica Taiwanica 8(2): 79-85.

Lim BL. (2015). The field rats and field mouse in Malaysia and Southeast Asia. UTAR Agriculture Science Journal 1(3).

Manville CJ, Barnum SA. & Tester JR. (1992). Influence of Bait on Arboreal Behaviour of Peromyscus leucopus. Journal of Mammalogy 73(2): 335-336.

Massolo A, Sforzi A. & Lovari S. (2003). Chemical immobilization of crested porcupines with tiletamine HCl and zolazepam HCl (Zoletil) under field conditions. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 39: 727–731

Mohd-Taib FS, Ishak SN, Yusof MA, Azhari NN, Md-Lasim A, Md. Nor S, Mohd-Sah SA & Neela VK (2020). Leptospirosis: An insight into community structure of small mammal’s host in urban environment. Tropical Biomedicine 37(1): 142–154

Mohd-Taib FS, Yusoff MA, Ali R. & Yaacob AR. (2019). A Note on Non-Volant Small Mammals of Pulau Pangkor, Perak, Malaysia. The Malaysian Forester 82 (1): 301 – 304.

Nakagawa M, Miguchi H, Sato K, Sakai S. & Nakashizuka T. (2007). Population Dynamics of Arboreal and Terrestrial Small Mammals in a Tropical Rainforest, Sarawak, Malaysia. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 55(2): 389–395.

Nor MS. (2001). Elevational diversity patterns of small mammals on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Global Ecology and Biogeography l0:41-62.

Oswald CD. & Flake LD. (1994). Bait formulation effectiveness in live-trapping small mammals in eastern South Dakota. Proceedings of the South Dakota Academy of Science 73: 101–108.

Parrott M., Chhin S., Hun S., Chheang S. & Furey N. (2014). A small terrestrial mammal survey and analysis of bait consumption at Bokor National Park, Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History 2014: 19-23.

Patergnani M, Gras LM, Poglayen G, Gelli A, Pasqualucci F, Farina M. & Stancampiano L. (2010). Environmental influence on urban rodent bait consumption. Journal of Pest Sci 83: 347–359.

Patric E. (1970). Bait preference of small mammals. Journal of Mammalogy 51(1): 179-182.

Payne J, Francis CM. Phillipps K. (1985). A field guide to the mammals of Borneo. The Sabah Society and World Wildlife Fund Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu.

Pervez A. (2007). Laboratory Evaluation of some Additive Poison Baits for Controlling Commensal and Field Rodents. Pakistan J. Zool. 39 (1): 35-43.

Rahelinirina S, Rajerison M, Telfer S, Savin C, Carniel E. & Duplantier J-M. (2017). The Asian house shrew Suncus murinus as a reservoir and source of human outbreaks of plague in Madagascar. PLoS Neglected Tropical Disease 11(11): e0006072.

Schlötelburg A, Jakob G, Bellingrath-Kimura S. & Jacob J. (2018). Natural bait additives improve trapping success of common voles, Microtus arvalis, Applied Animal Behaviour Science 208: 75-81.

Schnurr JL, Canham CD, Ostfeld RS. & Inouye RS. (2004). Neighborhood Analyses of Small-Mammal Dynamics: Impacts on Seed Predation and Seedling Establishment. Ecology 85(3): 741-755.

Shafi MM, Pervez A, Ahmad S. & Ahmed SM. (1990). Role of some taste additives to enhance poison bait acceptance in the black rat, Rattus rattus. Tropical Pest Management 36 (4): 371-374.

Starr C, Nekaris KAI. & Leung LKP. (2012) A comparison of three survey methods for detecting the elusive pygmy slow loris Nycticebus pygmaeus in Eastern Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History123–130.

Stickel LF. (1948). Effect of bait in live trapping Peromyscus. Journal of Wildlife Management 12: 211–212.

Stokes VL. (2012) Trappability of introduced and native rodents in different trap types in coastal forests of south-eastern Australia. Australian Mammalogy 35: 49-53.

Takács S, Musso AE, Gries R, Rozenberg E, Borden JH, Brodie B, Gries G. (2018). New food baits for trapping house mice, black rats and brown rats. Appl Anim Behav Sci 200: 130–135

Weihong JI, Veitch CR, & Craig JL. (1999). An evaluation of the efficiency of rodent trapping methods: the effect of trap arrangement, cover type, and bait. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 23(1): 45-51.

Woodman N, Timm RM, Slade NA. & Doonan TJ. (1996). Comparison of Traps and Baits for Censusing Small Mammals in Neotropical Lowlands. Journal of Mammalogy 77(1): 274–281.

Yusof MA, Ishak SN, Md. Nor S, Mohd. Sah SA, Azhari NN, Neela VK, Mohamed NZ. & Mohd-Taib FS. (2019). Community Diversity and Prevalence of Leptospira sp. among Small Mammals in Urban, Semi-Urban and Recreational Forest in West Peninsular Malaysia. EcoHealth 16: 260–274.

Zakaria M, Silang S. & Mudin R. (2001). Species Composition of Small Mammals at the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve, Puchong, Selangor. Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science 24 (1): 19-22.