A wireless sensor network (WSN) utilising a mesh configuration is a cost-effective and labour-saving solution for remotely monitoring traps and tracking devices used in conservation management. The unintentional introduction of stoats and rats into a once pristine ecosystem has resulted in the devastation of large parts of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. Other equally harmful mammalian species, including possum, for their fur, and domestic cats, were introduced intentionally. Abundant vegetation and a lack of predators lead to rampant population growth, further exacerbating their destructive impact. Effective monitoring, trapping and control of mammalian pests have proven difficult, time-consuming and expensive, primarily relying on socially controversial methods such as aerially delivered toxins. Despite advances in technology, costly and time-intensive manual checking of lures, toxins, traps and tracking devices remains a limiting factor. Together with WSN-based remote monitoring capability, these advances look set to have a significant impact. This chapter discusses opportunities for WSN in conservation management. It outlines a mammalian pest management project utilising a series of possum-specific self-resetting traps. A WSN designed for remotely monitoring possum trap activity is detailed, and the process for reconfiguring and presenting field-trial data via alpha-numeric and graphical user interface applications is described.
Part of the book: Wireless Sensor Networks