DOC having been catching lots of pests using our traps at Te Waihora: 11 last week, mainly hedgehogs and possums and at least one cat. They've found that having thermal cameras with the traps has been extremely informative to show how much wildlife is out there. It's also been a little bit addictive to wake up and see what's been captured overnight. Here's a video of mother with a joey being caught. The joey got away. We intend to do some more detailed analysis showing the catch rates of the Cacophony Traps vs the other traps out there, and showing the impact of the hazing on the traps.
Meanwhile the team at the Cacophony Project have been continuing development of the trap. We've been sharing snippets of this on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
They've also been working on:
- A self resetting and and electronic trigger mechanism for a DOC 250
- Cameras to do the machine vision in the traps, for the captured animal - we can use low cost, regular IR cameras for this, rather than thermal cameras.
- Embedding the machine vision algorithm on the camera, so we can play sounds based on the animal that is seen.
Watch this space for updates.
All of this is quite elaborate, but the aim is to create a fully automatic, high catch rate trap. For all the success DOC are having with our traps at Te Waihora, they still need to send someone to clear the traps. Making people more productive is one of the biggest opportunities in predator control.
We have been wondering what to call this "ramp trap". We thought if we had a competition it would probably end up as Rampity McRamp Face. If you have any better suggestions, please let us know.