grant's blog

How often do predators interact with traps?

Over the last three years we have had various versions of our thermal cameras in front of all the main types of traps. What we have found is that a large number of predators seem to just walk on past irrespective of what type of lures and set ups we use. We have detailed videos of rats and possums running all around traps but not always interacting with them. Typical reaction to this is that we must be doing something wrong but after watching tens of thousands of videos we suspect this is more of an issue than just us being hopeless trappers.

Today we introduce a model we have developed to allow you to calculate the interaction rate of your traps.  Given inputs such as interaction rate, elimination rate, number of devices, and predator population the model creates a graph showing the likely impact on the population.  We think the results are not only intriguing but telling.  They suggest it might be time for all of us to adjust our view of the importance of some of the factors involved.

Self-Resetting Possum Traps – how well do they work?

Self-resetting (automatic) traps have been on the market for a while now.  Speaking to trappers far and wide (as we have a habit of doing) we hear mixed reviews.  Most people seem to get some success when first deploying an auto-trap but the results tend to dip pretty swiftly. At Cacophony, we do value such anecdotal evidence (it really helps us understand the problems of using devices in the field) but we value hard, physical evidence even more.  ​​

Situations Cacophony tools are useful in

The Cacophony Project has very long-term goals to enable us to eliminate 100% of predators. It’s easy to look at what we are doing and assume that this will never work in the depths of the remote bush. While we acknowledge that there are many steps before we achieve that capability, the tools developed while getting to that end goal will be useful for other important parts of the problem.