Rodent Monitoring (also other small mammals, lizards, insects and mustalids)
Target Pest carries out monitoring of rodents, other pests and animals using Trakka tracking tunnels.
The Monitoring Survey
The tunnels will be set out on the pre-defined survey lines three weeks prior to monitoring as it is important to condition any resident animals to the presence of the tunnels. The position of each tunnel will be marked and recorded. After the tunnels have been in the field for three weeks the actual monitoring survey will be carried out over two fine nights and days. Inked tracking cards baited with suitable bait, such as peanut butter will be numbered and installed on day one. On day two the tracking cards will be collected and initial results recorded. A more detailed analysis of the tracks will be carried out later in the office. The proportion of the tunnels tracked by any species gives an index of the activity.
Species identification can be carried out by experienced technicians or a soon to be introduced computer image analysis. Animals such as rats and mice are relatively easy to identify, but the system is sensitive enough to identify weka, gekos, mustalids, birds, hedgehogs and others.
The monitoring can be repeated over time and any increase or decrease in activity will be detected.