British Moorlands

Predation control

Better Predation Control using new technology

Predation control’s four components:

  • Prevention 
  • Habitat design and management can be used to obstruct grouse predators’ hunting efforts  encouraging them to hunt more effectively elsewhere. This approach usually requires little or no extra cost,  just careful planning but it is very useful in Scotland where about half of moorland predators have legal protection.
  • Identifying Predators
  •  gathering information to plan effective action, using sightings, automatic “stealth” cameras, tracking, clues from remains of kills etc
  • Pre – trapping
  • Before taking on the commitment to check a trap daily, a test device can be used to check for the presence of a predator and whether it will enter your trap.  The GWCT mink raft is a well known time-saving example.  British Moorlands has extended this principle to rail and tunnel traps, corvid traps, cage traps and fox snares.  Please ask about the latest reports on these new and very low cost applications.
  • Trapping.
  • Monitoring and daily checking the traps are basically information gathering activities, much of it repetitive work, taking the keeper on foot or by vehicle over large areas, using up time which could be better spent on habitat improvements, new trap sites etc. This information can now be condensed and sent by radio or SMS (mobile phone) to a convenient receiver station, so that the status of hundreds of traps can be checked in a few seconds.  So more traps can be run giving better control of predators. Traps are connected to transmitters via a closed electric circuit. This allows a signal to be sent that all is normal as the keeper set it. Sensors break this circuit if there is any  movement at the trap and the resulting loss of the `all clear` signal registers immediately at the receiver as does any other defect such as flat batteries, electronic malfunction and vandalism. So the systems are 100% fail safe and an animal cannot be in a trap without the keeper knowing of it.

The status record of every trap every day can be downloaded at the receiver station by a hand held device and data from this is downloaded onto a P.C. at the keeper’s house or estate office. Even more conveniently, information from the receiver can now be sent by text message to a mobile phone. These records provide evidence that all legal and humane requirements are met and they cannot be altered or doctored by the operator. Where visual inspection is needed miniature digital cameras can store pictures in colour and send them by email to a PC or mobile phone.

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British Moorlands