What Is the Black Trakka?
The Black Trakka is a monitoring system widely used within New Zealand. Developed by the Stoat Technical Advisory Group of the Department of Conservation, this system has provided a reliable source for tracking small animals and insects for over a decade.
The product consists of a tunnel, held down by two wires, in which an inked monitoring card is placed. This card then records the footprints of animals as they pass through the tunnel.
The tunnel can be placed on the ground for animals such as rats, mice, and cockroaches, or placed in trees for reptiles and insects such as geckos or giant weta.
The monitoring card is a water resistant cardboard comprised of 4 layers. In the middle section of the recording surface the card is sealed and a specially developed ink is screened on this area where a lure is placed. The viscosity and tack of the ink have been designed so that small insects and very young lizards are not trapped in the ink. When animals move from the inked section they carry ink on their feet and leave images of their footprints on the recording section of the card.
Cards come in packages of 50 and are sealed in an oxygen barrier bag which will give unopened packs a shelf life of one year.
Once opened, cards can be kept in Gladwrap in a refrigerator to extend the life of the ink.