Black Trakka Monitoring Tunnels

Gotcha Traps has developed a system ideal for monitoring the presence of mammals and insects. A suitable sized 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.


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

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


Black Trakka features include:

  • Lightweight, durable tunnel
  • Easy to use with minimal training
  • Easily transported in large numbers
  • Cards are easy to read and tracks 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 is 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.