A new approach to managing our catch data will help organize, publicize, and nationalize the results of our trapping efforts.

Between our Kiwi Sanctuary and the Coromandel Kiwi Project, Moehau Environment Group maintains almost 1000 stoat traps on the Coromandel Peninsula. Each month, every trap is checked, any kill removed, and the trap is cleaned, rebaited, and reset. A record is kept of kills, trap malfunctions, bait types, etc. As you might imagine this has resulted in a lot of data over the years.

Like most other conservation groups, we have dutifully maintained our catch data for years on computer spreadsheets. While durable, this method was not easy to maintain year-on-year nor to extract summary information or to share information with other organizations.

Enter the University of Auckland and the CatchIT! database. Developed by the University’s Statistics Department, CatchIT! uses a web-based interface for entering and analysing data. CatchIT! should save us time and money by reducing errors during data entry, tracking the state of monthly trapping, and quickly generating summary reports and graphs for our stakeholders and funding applications. The system will also enable us to easily exchange trapping data with other conservation groups, and the analysis of all groups’ data may lead to improvements in trapping practices.

While data entry is performed on a secure site, anyone may view the data. If you want to see what some of our data looks like, go to https://oste434.shinyapps.io/barchart-application/ and select ‘MEG Coro Kiwi Project’ from the pull-down menu. You can then play with different ways of displaying our data visually, sorting data by date, species caught, bait used or by trap-line.