Working on trap lines

CatchIT User Guide:

Existing trappers, please notethe link belowalso gives you access to the Catch IT quick-start Guide.

As well as the bait lines, the Ark has circuits of traps, which humanely kill mustelids (stoats, weasels, ferrets) and rats. For each circuit there is a team of volunteers, who organise themselves into a roster, so that one of team goes round the circuit twice a month, increasing to weekly during the peak mustelid summer season. The work involves re-baiting each trap, and removing any dead animals. Trap clearance may at times be an unpleasant process. However, the trappers have the satisfaction of carrying out a vital task, have flexibility regarding when they do the circuit, and in most cases get their exercise without having to go off track.

After completing their trapping rounds, the volunteers report their activity, and any predator catch, by logging on to a website called CatchIT. This provides immediate updating of catches and all trappers can view the accumulated catch data for any part of the Ark as a bar graph or map.

CatchIT data also gives the trapping team the ability to analyse the performance of individual trap sites, to identify exceptionally active sites, and also inactive ones that may need checking for problems.

A demonstration of CatchIT can be viewed at

Next: why be a volunteer?

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