First Out of the Mammal Traps

We’ve been having fun testing new species of live mammal traps this week. These traps are all designed for trapping of small mammal species, primarily mice and voles, and allow us to assess local populations and individuals before releasing the animals, well fed and unharmed, back into their natural environments.

Traps, bedding, food.

Traps, bedding, food.

The Longworth trap, with its reliable and effective aluminium construction has long been the undisputed standard for small mammal survey, but there are several other types available. We’re very interested in the BioEcoSS tube trap – a promising competitor that’s recently appeared – and have been keen to put it to the test. To liven up the competition, the Cambridgeshire Mammal Group has kindly lent us three other varieties of trap.

Under test this week are:

  • The Longworth trap: no-nonsense and nearly indestructable.
  • The BioEcoSS: the pretender, similar in function to the Longworth, but made of new-fangled plastic.
  • The Sherman: simple and extremely portable, folding flat so you could carry 100 of them in a backpack if necessary.
  • The Trip-Trap: a field variant of a common household live trap. All plastic with an elegantly simple closing mechanism.
  • An Uggland: Scandinavian design with a proper cartoon style trapdoor.

With ten mammal traps in total, we’re being kept busy filling them with nesting material and food and placing, checking, recording, emptying, cleaning, refilling and resetting. It’s thirsty work and we’ve now succumbed to the gin-trap. We’ll post the results soon…