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    How to retrieve a Longworth trap

    VideoFriday 01 March 2013
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    "Hi I’m Abby Lamb, I’m a lecturer in environmental conservation here at Plumpton College. I’m going to be talking to you about retrieving a longworth trap. Once you set longworth traps you need to check on them every couple of hours, and if you find that your longworth trap hasn’t been triggered there’s no reason why you cant then leave it out for a little while longer to see whether or not you can actually catch something. But when you find that you have captured something it’s important that you let it go as soon as possible. But obviously first of all we need to find out what it is that we’ve captured.

     

    So once you’ve found that your longworth trap has successfully captured you need to retrieve it as quietly and as calmly as possible. It’s important that you don’t shake it, and that you just bring it quietly away from the area where you captured it. There are two main ways of finding out what you’ve got inside it. A lot of people like to empty them into large bags, you can have a close look at them before you release them back into the environment. In this instance I’m going to be empty it into a crate, so you can clearly see it moving around. OK so when it comes to releasing you release the top latch first and slide out the tunnel. It’s important to open the door at this stage, as they’re very often in the tunnel. Once you’ve established it’s not up there you can place that to one side. You want to very gently coax the small mammal out, and then remove the bedding so you can clearly see what you are dealing with.

    There are three main families of mammals you are likely to come up against trapping in mainland britain, which are the vowels the shrews and the mice. The shrews have a very distinctive long pointy nose, and the vowels and the mice both have very similar faces. Now this is a bank vowel, you can recognise the difference between a vowel and mouse because mice have the enormous ears that you would associate with them, whereas vowels have very small ears tucked in against their fur. You can see the coat on this is quite reddy brown, which tells me that it is a bank vowel. The other species of vowel that we get, the field vowel is much drabber shade of brown, more of a mousey brown. It also has a much shorter tail. You can see that this animal is in no way stressed by this, it is quite happy to sit in the corner. It has a white underside to its tail, and thats another good distinctive way to tell it’s a bank vowel. You’ve got this red rusty coat and the white underside to it’s tail telling me its a bank vowel rather than a field vowel. So once you’ve established what species you have it’s time to release it back into the habitat that you got it from. There really is no need to handle any of these, and you are likely to get bitten if you tried to, so unless you’re experienced I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s ideal with these crates just to take them back to the area that they came from and just tip them gently until the mammal then climbs back out and heads back to where he came from."

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