A survey was made on methods and materials for eDNA, DNA sequencing/mapping, smart cameras and smart traps. Although responses were few, preliminary results include excellent scores for DNA methods and useful field results for smart systems.
A total of 21 responses was too few for statistical analysis. This was the first survey, so possible effects may be analysed over time.
However, the first results include excellence in protocols for handling both DNA methods. It looks like eDNA is an excellent warning system and DNA sequencing/mapping is extremely effective for determining migration routes.
Challenges are the intensive maintenance of materials (eDNA and DNA sequencing/mapping), the slow process (DNA sequencing/mapping) and the contradictory in work: trappers understandably prefer to work in areas with dense populations of rats, whereas eDNA methods focus on areas with few muskrats (eDNA).
For the smart systems (cameras and traps) the first results show that they are both multifunctional and can be used for different species. Smart life traps tend to render better catches. Design of the smart cameras is considered excellent.
Improvement on the traps is needed on the hardware (battery and magnet), software (AI image-recognition) and the message to trappers (battery level, GPS and trap status). On the smart cameras there is room for improvement on the AI image-recognition software used for detecting muskrat or coypu and on the speed of processing.
A new survey will be held in October.