Using location tracking takes a lot of the work out of mapping and creates an online record. You can then monitor results and share them by automatically exporting graphs and reports.
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Online tracking not only provides accurate local catch records, but can be used nationwide to reveal the ‘bigger picture’ of biodiversity patterns across NZ.
Location-tracking software usually involves GPS (Global Positioning System) – meaning satellites pinpoint the exact location of an object, such as a trap or a building. Most smartphones automatically include GPS capability, so group members can easily add catch numbers or other trap details from their phones.
Below are some examples of free tracking software available for community groups.
Trap.nz allows you to record and monitor your trapping and baiting. It includes a free app for both iOS and Android devices, so you can use it offline while out in the field with your smartphone and then sync to the website when you’re back online. You can either create your own project or request to join an existing one. You can also sort results by species.
Generating reports, graphs and maps will help you understand which traps are most effective, and which areas need more work. You can also share them to update your group or community on social media, and/or use them as part of funding applications or for project reports.
CatchIT offers data management and analysis for community pest control projects. The software was developed by the University of Auckland and they store data from traplines, bait lines, tracking tunnels, wax tags and other lures. Group volunteers or admin can sign in and enter their catches into the online database, and also upload historical trapping records via Excel spreadsheets.
CatchIT provides a suite of maps, graphics, animations, and analyses to display trapping results and bait uptake. More about the project, including instructions, example graphics and demo videos, can be found on their website.
With the EcoTrack app you can monitor your predator control and weed control activities. EcoTrack stores data from conservation groups nationwide (but not your personal data), which means there is a record of work being carried out across NZ.
At an individual level, group members can install the app and record locations of target species. Group leaders can coordinate activities and track data.
The Urban Rat Project
The Urban Rat Project helps to engage community groups and backyard trappers. Group leaders can send automatic trap-check reminders and households can quickly report their catches from any device.
The reminders can include neighbourhood stats – e.g. a user’s ‘ranking’ and how many rats have been caught in their street or postcode. Reminder messages can also include predator control tips.
The Urban Rat Project system works for all predators, not just rats. There is no app, but the website is smartphone-friendly and works well on all devices.