To take advantage of a new survey site to test the new BioEcoss tube traps as an alternative to the normal Longworth traps. These traps are similar in concept to Longworths, with separate nest box and trap sections. The unit is made from plastic and the trip mechanism is a series of levers and bands which can be adjusted to vary trigger pressures. There is a stabilising bar to stop it rolling away. The traps were simple to assemble and set. The entrance to the trap is raised, rather than flat like the Longworths, although this seems unlikely to prevent entry. The trap is triggered when the animal treads on a plastic bar in the trap section.
10 traps were set and four were tripped, three of these contained animals – 2 mice and a field vole. I was disappointed not to catch more, considering the site, but we need to run direct comparisons with Longworths to see if there is any difference. The traps are significantly cheaper than Longworths. However, I have some reservations over how robust they will prove in the field and how well they will survive their occupants. Along with testing we surveyed the site using hedgehog tunnels and a trail camera, followed by searches for nests, signs, and feeding remains. So the survey results: wood mice and field vole in the traps, badger and rabbit droppings, field vole larders and nest, wood mice, bank vole, grey squirrel and dormouse feeding remains.