Black Trakka Tracking Tunnels

Gotcha Traps has developed a system ideal for monitoring the presence of mammals and insects. A suitable-sized tracking tunnel is placed in a control area and within the tunnel is a monitoring card.

This card is of wet strength material and in the standard system is 500mm in length and 100mmin width. In the middle of the card is a sealed strip on which is placed a non-drying, water-resistant ink of specified viscosity.

When an animal is attracted into the tunnel as a result of a lure it moves across the inked area.

With ink on its feet, the animal leaves tracks on the absorbent section of the card. The oil within the ink is taken into the cardboard leaving high-definition tracks. These tracks allow individual animals to be identified (differing widths, lengths and pad types). The tracks of Rattus rattus are easily separated from those of Rattus Norvegicus. Thus control measures can be very effectively monitored.

This system also allows for the gathering of insect tracks. Cockroaches and even ants can be recorded. We believe the collection of insect tracks to be a world-first. As the pads on the underside of insect feet vary it is possible to build a local database.

The standard tunnel is 500mm in length and 100mm in both height and width. We have another unit that is 250mm in length and 65 mm in both width and height.

The cards are folded in half and sealed in oxygen barrier bags. Shelf life is in excess of 9 months. This is increased indefinitely when the cards are stored in refrigerated conditions.

Animal Monitoring

The Black Trakka was originally designed by Warren Agnew to determine what types of pests were lurking in our forests and backyards but has been found to reveal just as much about the presence of native animals such as lizards, wetas and other insects.

The Trakka consists of a lightweight polypropylene tunnel, a pre-inked tracking card for small animals (up to ferret size) and two U-shaped pins to secure the Trakka tunnel.  Lures are placed on the ink-free section in the centre of the card.  While an animal eats the lure, it stands on the inked section. Ink is then transferred from their feet to either end of the card where the tracks of the animal are recorded on the absorbent card.  The tracks on this area do not smudge allowing for easy identification using the sample prints in our Trakka Guide.

Black Trakka Monitoring Tunnels


The Black  Trakka tracking tunnels and cards can be used to identify many animals and insects including:

  • Rats
  • Weta
  • Mice
  • Lizards
  • Stoats
  • Hedgehogs


Black Trakka features include:

  • Lightweight, durable tracking tunnel
  • Easy to use with minimal training
  • Easily transported in large numbers
  • Cards are easy to read and tracks are easily identifiable using our Tracking Guide.
  • Ink non-toxic to Animals
  • Longlasting ink – effective for up to 4 weeks

Used extensively by professionals throughout New Zealand, Black Trakka cards can be resealed and re-used if not tracked

Instructions: Black Trakka Tunnel Placement

Take Care to be selective in your tunnel placement.  Animals will use regular pathways in the grass and may hunt along the edges of waterways.

Rats and mice do not have a large range.  In order to detect the presence of these rodents, tunnels should be placed at intervals of no more than 50 metres.

When monitoring for mustelids (stoats, ferrets and weasels) tunnels should be placed at 200-metre intervals.  Trakkas can be covered with grass and it helps if both the inside and outside are wiped down with meat or fish to remove the human scent.

Rats can readily be caught by placing a trap within the Trakka.  The enclosed area leaves no room for the rat to leap sideways.

Suggested Lures

  • Rats & Mice: Peanut butter
  • Weta & Insects: Peanut butter
  • Ferrets & Stoats: Raw red meat or uncooked eggs
  • Hedgehogs: Raw red meat or uncooked eggs
  • Lizards: 50/50 blend of banana and honey placed in the lid of a milk bottle


Once opened the Trakka cards must be used or resealed in an air-tight container.  Cards will last for up to 6 months if sealed in an airtight container and kept in a cool dry place. Once open the cards will last for up to 4 weeks before the ink dries.

Health & Safety

There are no health and safety concerns for people,  animals or insects using Black Trakka.

Benefits of Using Black Trakka

Gotcha Traps are the world’s most cost-efficient and effective forest tracking and monitoring system. We aim to provide the best products on the market for small animal tracking and trapping. Widely in use in NZ, Gotcha Traps inked tracking cards and tracking tunnels are unprecedented on the worldwide market. We provide the best tracking system available for small animals and insects and freely supply information on how to read and document the tracks of each animal.

The Black Trakka™ was developed in NZ by Warren Agnew and is now patented in many countries. Approved as a standard operating procedure with the NZ Dept of Conservation. The Black Trakka™ benefits include:

  1. LOW COST – lowest price in NZ and low cost to transport.
  2. LIGHTWEIGHT – over 100 can be carried in a backpack.
  3. EASY TO USE – Just fold and click to make the tube. Unfold the card and place it in the tracking tunnel.
  4. READY FOR USE – No work is required to make components.
  5. READILY AVAILABLE – Can be supplied to any mail delivery location in NZ.
  6. ALL-WEATHER USE – Not temperature-dependent.
  7. RECYCLABLE – Polypropylene is recyclable and has the number “5” as its resin identification code. Find out more about recycling #5 Polypropylene.
  8. CAN BE USED TO DETECT ALL PESTS AND/OR PROTECTED SPECIES – Rats, Ferrets, Weasels, Mice, Hedgehogs, Weta & Frogs.

What is the Black Trakka?

The Black Trakka is a tracking tunnel 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.

Through cooperation with government agencies such as the Department of Conservation (DoC) as well as through home monitoring, we aim to assist in New Zealand’s predator-free campaign to fully eradicate all pests and predators by the year 2050. While it might seem like a daunting task, with the help of the Black Trakka, locating predators has never been so easy.

1 Light weight Yes
100 in a back packer
12 in a wheelbarrow
2 Ready to use Yes


No – need to buy wood, tray, sponge, etc
3 Man hours for assembly $0 Best 2 hrs to make 10
4 Cost of additional parts $0 $12


5 Operate in adverse weather Yes No

Best at night

6 Ease of use in the field


Very easy Difficult as need to make & fill ink trays.
7 Cleanliness of use


No mess Ink and dye often stains users hands.
8 Hot weather conditions usefulness Months 1 night
9 Accuracy of animal track Generally very good Often poor
10 Minimum foot size detectable 0.5 mm Blurred when <1 mm
11 Ability to identify individual animals Very good Generally poor
12 Ability to identify insects Yes

Good for wetas.



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