WWF's Conservation Innovation Awards

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If you can see this idea really taking off, give it your vote. The idea needs to be, in your opinion, a viable solution to the stated problem. Is this a problem you have experienced? Can you see this solution working for you? Then give it your vote!

Trap.NZ - Simple Trapping and Bait Station Records for Community Conservation Groups

Our idea is to use a very simple and user focused approach to collection and reporting of trapping and bait station records through Trap.nz ( trap.org.nz ).  This reduces work and provides immediate feedback to community trapping groups – but is also able to provide standard data to researchers and other collaborators (with group approval).  It provides a mechanism for different groups to see nearby trapping activity – and link up with other groups to provide larger pest control areas.

Our idea is to also provide subsequent modules for outcome monitoring, as required.  This could include data from a range outcome monitoring, from kiwi counts to five minute bird counts to vegetation plots etc.   This will allow groups to quickly relate their trapping effort and outcomes.

What New Zealand conservation problem are you trying to solve?

Providing a simple, freely available, system for trapping and bait station records supported by practitioners in the field.  This system needs to be simple and tailored to be useable by people with a wide range of abilities in computer based systems

What makes your idea new and unique?

Focus on a simple approach driven by users and developed to fit in with how they operate.

Live linking of data and map generation,  answering day to day questions, e.g. where were most stoats caught over last 2 months.  Future addition of outcome monitoring modules to link pest control and outcomes.

Deliberately working to encourage sharing of data formats – so data can be provided to researchers like Rachel Fewster at Auckland University - interested in learning more from large data sets

Who will use your idea, and how will it make conservation action more efficient or effective?

All community conservation groups can use this system for free.  It will help increase the consistency and efficiency of their trapping operations.  It is currently used by around 120 conservation projects across the country and is continuing to expand rapidly.  This will be further enhanced by the release of a mobile app for the system over the next month.  This app will run off line, include map display and navigation, and allow syncing of data when back in cell or wifi connection.

What tasks or activities do you need investment for ? How would you spend a $25,000 grant?

The grant would be used to provide additional outcome monitoring modules, potentially starting with bird counts.  The priority for development of next module(s) would be determine from user feedback and review of needs across community conservation groups.

Are you a New Zealand citizen or resident?

Yes

Which category best describes your idea?

Product

I have read the Terms of Use, the Supplemental Terms of Use, and Community Guidelines - see links at the bottom of this page

Yes

Lee Barry Sep 24, 2015

Thanks for posting this up Peter!

WWF are proud to have been working with Groundtruth to develop Trap.nz over the past 18 months. As it's intention and functions overlap with  - but are also distinct from - several other ideas already posted in the Awards, we though it might inspire some good discussion and potential collaborations to post it up here. Because of WWF's existing interest and support of Groundtruth to develop this product, this entry isn't considered eligible for the prize. But we hope its well worth some feedback and discussion!

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Peter Handford Sep 24, 2015

Thanks Lee.  As Lee identifies - very keen to look at all sorts of ways of collaborating.  Trap.nz is going down well with users and there are around 120 projects already using the system and continuing to grow.  It would be great to make transporting of data between systems and to researchers as simple as possible (though always with groups approval).  It seems to me having a number of different systems available is healthy and allows them to adapt to particular needs of groups of users. 

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Rachel Fewster Sep 25, 2015

Thanks for the mention Peter - yes always interested in collaborating. I agree that the next big step for us all - once we've got great suites of graphics and outputs for individual projects - is to investigate how we can bring together data from projects all over the country and learn from their combined experiences. This will be a huge challenge: making rigorous science out of disparate data won't be easy, but it will be a massive step forward in terms of the potential to understand and improve upon outcomes.

Does anyone know what is happening in other countries around the world? NZ could be trail-blazing here in terms of community-driven data-informed conservation management.

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Peter Handford Sep 25, 2015

Yes Rachel, agree that there is great potential to harness the information from a wide range of projects.  I think the challenge of collaborating across these data sets is a lot less than for many more complex sets of outcome monitoring data - the different systems are collecting relatively straightforward data.  The initiative we have early discussions around - of working on a set of standard data formats is valuable - and quite achievable.   

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The Forest Bridge Trust Sep 25, 2015

 

 

 

The most useful thing for our people - adults and children-  in the field will be having a piece of technology-app, whatever -  to record data in the field to then send automatically to a trapping program.

Production  of data set etc would be fantastic for schools to compare trapping results- where, when, how, with what etc. Rachel has already done this for CatchIT School -  it is great.

Our CatchIT Schools program would really appreciate having this sort of technology available.

 Very keen on the idea of outcome monitoring  - especially good for motivation of young people in the field/backyard.

I agree that having different systems is healthy but as a user/consumer deciding which system fits isn't easy. Perhaps someone could draw up the pro's and cons of each system so that users could choose which one suits their situation.

I understand DOC has an app almost available - is the one you refer to a different one?

 

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Peter Handford Sep 25, 2015

Hi GMA, thanks for the questions and thoughts.  The app for trap.nz does just what you identify.  It allows you to record your checks of traps as you move along trap lines etc, also allows you to include photos of pests etc if you wish.  This is provided with a map display of your traps.  This all works off line (without any cell phone connection) - when you are back in cell or wifi coverage, the app then syncs with the online trapping database.  This app is different to the DOC one.  It is currently being tested as a prototype and is will be available more widely in 2-3 weeks.

The interactive reporting linking maps and tables of data in trap.nz allows you to immediately examine your trapping results - where things have been caught, with what, when etc - and display simple heatmaps etc  Users are really liking the ability to quickly explore what is going on.

The system is intended to enhance collaboration between groups - looking at where others are operating, linking up with their groups etc.  We could potentially establish a system of view only access between users that approved each other - to allow them to more easily view each others results.

Outcome monitoring has lots of potential - with some aspects being relatively straightforward to add - others more complex.  We have been doing a lot of work with five minute bird counts around the country over many hears - still a valuable example of outcome monitoring.  Are also a good range of vegetation monitoring etc that could be more widely adopted.

Predator Free NZ have been preparing a comparative matrix of the different systems, you could contact them for that.  Still probably a matter of having a go with the different systems and seeing what suits you best though.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sam Rye Sep 27, 2015

Nice work Peter! Sounds like you're off to a flyer with this and getting some good traction.

What technology are you building on out of interest? We're looking at a couple of routes to go down with Volunteer Impact at this stage, and it seems like there's lots of energy going into the Predator Control data collection / mapping end of things, so we'd rather integrate with what's out there, rather than build from scratch ourselves. With the app you're due to launch, are you opening up an API at all?

We're looking at the wider suite of data types which conservation/restoration groups need to collect, so if there's specialised systems for certain aspects, then we could integrate and build a resilient network of technology.

Keen to catch up in the future too - I used to live up in Paekakariki + always admired your work from afar.

Sam

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Peter Handford Sep 28, 2015

Hi Sam, Thanks

Would be good to catch up.  We are certainly open to collaboration.  As you may know we work across a wide range of areas encompassing community engagement in biodiversity monitoring, re-vegetation, sustainable land management etc.  We work directly on these projects in the planning and delivery as well as applied technology around them. Consequently we have a strong practical focus on what is needed and have developed a suite of technology that aims to link and integrate various forms of spatial data, images, video, etc.  Happy to catch up and see if there are logical ways to collaborate.

Cheers Peter 

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