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Rodent Tracking
Prepared by Tyler Bogardus

Rodent Tracking.jpg

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Safety Concerns

  • Personal Protection Equipment

    • Nitrile gloves for baiting and retrieving tracking cards

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Tracking card with rat tracks

Tracking card with rat tracks

Types

  • Tracking cards

  • Wax tags

  • Chew cards (Corflute, GoodNature)

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Wax Tags

Wax Tags

GoodNature Rodent Detector

GoodNature Rodent Detector

Introduction

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From New Zealand Department of Conservation Tracking Document

How to Set

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  • Installation

    • Set out the tunnels at least 3 weeks prior to the first survey session to ensure any resident animals are conditioned to the presence of the tunnels

    • Leave the tunnels in place between survey sessions

    • Carry tunnels into the field un-assembled for ease of transportation

    • Assemble tunnel

    • Find a flat location along trail

    • Place tunnel with longer sides on top to act as rain shields

    • Use two metal U-wires to firmly stabilize the tunnel

    • Gps, number, and flag the location.

    • Pre-bait with “quarter” size peanut butter directly in the middle on the inside of the tunnel

Tracking Tunnel with card

Tracking Tunnel with card

How to Check

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  • Setting

    • Record date, observer, and tunnel number on the card

    • Place a “quarter” size amount of peanut butter directly in the middle of the ink on the card

    • Place in tunnel making sure card is flat and at the bottom of tunnel

  • Retrieving

    • Bring gallon size Ziploc to place cards in

    • Remove card from the tunnel taking care not to touch the tracking surface of the card

    • Remove any bait from the card with a stick or gloved finger

    • Fold the card and place in gallon Ziploc bag

  • Recording data

    • At the office record onto a data sheet presence of tracks for each species (one card can have multiple species)

Tracking cards with rat tracks (above) and mouse tracks (below)

Tracking cards with rat tracks (above) and mouse tracks (below)

Purchasing

  • Dealers

  • Homemade

    • Can use sheets of corflute to make tracking tunnels

    • Tracking cards can be made from poster board, mod podge in center and then tracking ink over the mod podge

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Example of a % Rat Activity Graph

Miscellaneous Details

  • Graphs

  • Statistical analysis

  • Can archive pictures of cards

  • “Must See” NZ DOC Tracking Document

Example of a % Rat Activity Graph

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