In 2000 Traps.co.nz saw the need for an alternative method for detecting the presence and the density of possum populations in New Zealand. At that time the only method available was the use of lines of leg-hold traps (Residual Trap Catch Index, RTCI). Possum presence and density was dtermined for the proportion of the traps that captured possums. However, this method has some disadvantages:
- Not all possums present are captured
- The method is labour intensive because leg-hold traps need to be checked daily by law
- The amount of sampling lines is restricted because traps are haevy and labour intensive
- Trap lines are difficult to establish in inaccessible mountainous terrain
Consequently Traps.co.nz developed the WaxTag possum monitoring method for measuring possum densities in New Zealand. Research showed that lines of WaxTags were more effective:
Effective for detecting pests on riverbeds in Canterbury see the following link
See also the Peanut WaxTags for detecting rodents and hedgehogs.