Online tools for predator control

adminOnline trapping tools, Tools & resources

animation-catchitIf you’re out and about setting and baiting traps, what’s the best way to measure the results?

Good news: it doesn’t have to involve fiddling around with hand-drawn maps or manually entering numbers into spreadsheets.

In this section we look at:

1. Which online tools are available

We’ve identified four providers who have developed online data capture tools in NZ for managing and analysing your trap data, including interactive maps and graphs. These include Auckland University (CatchIT), The Department of Conservation (Walk the Line), Groundtruth Ltd/WWF NZ (Trap.NZ) and MAIN Trust (Pest Mapper).

If you know of other trapping software, please email us and we’ll add it to the list.

1. CatchIt

CatchIT offers data management and analysis for community pest control projects. They can store and secure data from trap-lines, bait-lines, tracking tunnels, and from wax tags and other lures. Volunteers or admin can log in and enter their catch records to the online database, and also upload historical trapping records via Excel spreadsheets.

They provide a suite of maps, graphics, animations, and analyses to display trapping results and bait uptake. They aim to help engage and motivate community volunteers by seeing their data come to life on the screen.

More about the project, including example graphics and demo videos, can be found on their website.

CatchIT is hosted by the University of Auckland and has been sponsored by TFBIS, WWF, RSNZ, BeSTGRID, and the University of Auckland.

2. Trap.NZ

Trap.NZ is a free system for individuals and groups to actively manage their pest control projects.

The Trap.NZ app (available for iOS and Android devices) is a simple-to-use tool that allows you to plot traps and bait stations in the field and collect records while you are out doing your lines.   It works offline and syncs data with the Trap.NZ website when back in coverage.

Via the Trap.NZ website you can capture and understand your pest control results, view other pest control activities in your area, and link up with other groups.   You can set up individual or group projects and you can add and manage other users and their levels of access within your project.

A suite of reports, graphs, and interactive maps are available to help see where hotspots are showing up for different pests, target your control, report results to your funders, and keep your group informed of the successes of their hard work. Data can be imported and exported to and from the system in a range of formats (spreadsheets, shapefiles, GPX, etc).

Trap.NZ has been developed with the support of WWF and Groundtruth Limited.  It has been operating since 2014 and is used by over 380 groups throughout New Zealand.
3. Walk the Line

On Friday 4 December 2015, the Walk the Line Android Trapping app was released into production.

The Walk the Line application is a very user friendly Android mobile application designed to be used in conjunction with the Trapping and Whio web applications, it uses award winning design to improve the data collection of trapping networks across the country, from small community initiatives to landscape scale multi pest operations.

This application has been developed in conjunction with partners at Genesis Energy / Whio Forever and Project Janszoon and DOC have paid a particular focus on the long term viability of the application and quality of the data, while maintaining a common look and feel to the other geospatial business tools used across the Department (and outside) e.g  DOCgis, Weeds, Whio, Operational Activities, Record of Fire, Discover the Outdoors and the up and coming Pesticides app.

The application can be down loaded onto any android device running 4.0 or higher, from the Latest Release folder of the following Google Drive account:

And this will give the install / uninstall instructions:

The use of the Google Drive account is a temporary measure until DOC set up the ability to download the mobile app directly from the Trapping web app.

The link to the help documentation (APMIS-Trapping-Android-App-User-docs-DOC-2618557.docx) will come to life once the document is ready, but those of you familiar with the Windows Mobile Whio app will work it out in a moment.

DOC will be more actively rolling out the app with a primary focus of adoption across the Department of Conservation, but DOC are happy to provide it to external parties who are not already using the application where the local district office are happy to act as the first point of contact for the group, or it is felt it is an organisation with sufficient technical ability to support themselves.

4. MAIN Trust NZ

MAIN Trust NZ is a Charitable Trust which has developed online pest–data recording and mapping systems for community use. We also help groups set up mapping systems on their own computers to store and share their project information.

‘Pest Mapper’ online is designed to be customised for projects of varying complexity, and costs vary accordingly for the package of design, set-up, training, and hosting (in the first year), then ongoing hosting and help desk costs for subsequent years. For example:

  • a small hundred-trap project would be $1,000 in the first year, with an ongoing annual hosting cost of $120
  • a larger project involving many farmers and a thousand traps in a halo project would be $5,000 in the first year, with an ongoing hosting and help desk cost of $1,000.

Watch their the ‘Easy-As’ video of data entry for trappers showing a trapline which took 2.5 minutes to enter the information.  The data meets national standards and can be downloaded as graphs, raw data, and analysed summaries.

Contact Elise Smith for a trial or view their website.

2. Feature comparison of these tools

We’ve identified the key features of these tools and asked each of the developers to answer some questions about their tools and put them into a matrix (PFNZ-online-data-capture-tools-matrix-3.0.xlsx).

3. Some groups/organisations using the tools

Feel free to contact any of these groups to find out more about their experiences of using the online tools.

Walk the Line
MAIN Trust