PerdixPro system assists wildlife management company in Ireland
Human/Wildlife conflicts in urban Ireland
Wildlife Management Services is a small company based in Ireland, mainly dealing with issues arising when people come into conflict with wildlife. Furthermore this company is involved in numerous biodiversity and research projects. “We mostly work in urban situations, particularly in and around the city of Dublin,” Barry Nolan, the managing director, explains. The firm works in a range of settings from commercial to domestic – anything from pharmaceuticals to residential homes and gardens.
Much of the work is reactive, being called out to deal with a problem animal or a problem situation: a grey squirrel family taking up residence in an attic, or a pine marten causing electrical risks in a power substation are examples. Barry is on call 24/7 and his van is his office. Often, the team needs to catch animals using live-catch traps (under licence), both to resolve issues, and also for monitoring purposes. Monitoring is particularly key when working on biodiversity projects and with universities and research bodies. A current project, for example, is assisting a university with a study tracking urban foxes.
Barry has recently installed PerdixPro and is using the Perdix trap tags and 4G cellular cameras to monitor his company’s wildlife traps. This equipment has substantially cut down on hours spent visiting traps, from a time when each trap had to be visited in person daily. The cellular trap tags and cameras are connected electronically to the PerdixPro platform, which sends an alert to the team’s phones giving details of which unit has caught what. “We can alert our local contact immediately when we receive notification and the contact doesn’t have to visit animal traps unnecessarily.” With the ‘on-call’, out-and-about nature of the work, alerts coming through to a mobile phone is essential.
It’s not just time that the system saves, however, it adds convenience too. “In the case of trapping the attic squirrels, we set traps and the PerdixPro system means we know when the trap has caught, so we don’t have to call at a resident’s house unnecessarily to visit their attic just to check the squirrel traps. Instead, we can arrange a mutually convenient time once a successful catch is confirmed via the system.”
When the company is working on scientific monitoring with the universities, the team of people involved can be large. For example, tracking urban foxes means they catch the foxes in the live-catch traps in order to fit the animals with GPS tracking collars. “Many people might be involved, including vets, research students as well as ourselves,” says Barry. “From a welfare viewpoint, the equipment has reduced the amount of time the animal is held within the trap; we don’t want to hold a fox unnecessarily before it’s fitted with the GPS system. Getting everyone there at one time is essential.” PerdixPro enables the team to act swiftly so that the stress to the animal is kept to a minimum and the process is not prolonged.
Ahead of the game
Being a commercial outfit, the company is only as good as its last job, with new work frequently coming in on the back of jobs well done. Barry says: “It’s helpful to stay ahead of the game and to be well informed about the best way to trap, animal welfare and best practice. The PerdixPro equipment has really helped us in this regard.”
Barry reckons by shopping around he may have been able to locate the hardware for a keener price than the PERDIX units, but he says: “The back-up service is super and worth so much.” He gives an example. When the trap tags first arrived, they didn’t work. He thinks it was something outside PERDIX’s control – the network or signal in Ireland and its compatibility with the equipment. “PERDIX sent out a new set of tags, organised to have the originals returned and had the whole system operating properly, including talking through the set-up, logging in, etc, and PERDIX only expected payment when we were happy. I couldn’t fault them.”
On top of that, Barry has been impressed by the PerdixPro platform reliability and online functionality. The integration into the PERDIX equipment of certain cutting edge tech services and programs that can’t be seen by the user ensure reliability, uptime, security and so on.
Anyone familiar with frustrations of the modern world’s standard ‘Service Department’ experience will agree with Barry who says: “There is a huge value in talking to a person who cares. I’d prefer to speak to someone – a real person – than to be sent 40 pages of instructions.”
Barry hasn’t met Dave Butler, Director & Founder of PERDIX, but he has spoked to him regularly on the phone. In those exchanges, it was clear to Barry that Dave had a vested interest in the high quality wildlife equipment PERDIX supplies. On discovering during our conversation for this blog that Dave has a background in wildlife ecology and understands what it’s like to use substandard equipment, Barry commented: “That explains everything!”