Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Forest Trial's Underway

We are pleased to announce that our first 'real world' forestry trial is under-way, closely followed by our second!

We have deployed iPEST units into a commercial forest to trial the use of the iPEST System in the aid of grey squirrel trapping. Grey squirrels can (if left uncontrolled) cause significant amounts of damage to woodlands (link) and of course pose a threat to our native red squirrels.

Distribution of Red's in 1998

With questions still surrounding the continued availability of Warfarin (link) and the fact that Warfarin use is only permitted between 15th March & 15th August, targeted trapping provides a good alternative which can be used all year round and (if live trapping) in environments known to contain reds.

The problem with trapping is that it is a requirement to check the trap every day. That's fine if only using 1 or 2, but prohibitive when looking at anywhere over 20 traps across many hectors of forest.

So the iPEST solution may provide an ideal solution to this problem. We have now two trials running.

1) In a commercial forest setting in which no mobile phone signal exists (call, text or data). However that doesn't appear to stop our iPEST units from functioning!

2) And we are working alongside the Glens Red Squirrel group in Northern Ireland, who are interested in using the units to assist in their work protecting the Red Squirrel populations in the Glens of Antrim.

iPEST Unit in Situ
We are a couple of weeks into each trial and things appear to be going well, and although there is so much food around at the moment the Squirrels don't appear interested in the traps - at least with the iPEST unit in place, valuable time hasn't been spent checking them.