Small Mammal Tracking #30DaysWild

As the rain seems to have stopped I am putting a small tracking tunnel out in the garden to see what little paw prints it captures over weekend.

A tracking tunnel is a simple lightweight plastic tunnel  with a removable tracking tray which contains ink pads, bait and paper to record the paw prints.

It works by small mammals walking over the ink pads to eat the bait and leaving their prints on the paper.

I made my tracking tunnel with Cheshire Wildlife Trust but you can buy them already made from a few places on the internet.

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This evening I have secured two A4 pieces of paper onto the tracking tray, keeping them in pace with paper clips. Later I will ink along the strips of masking tape with ink (a mix of 1 teaspoon of powder paint with 2 teaspoons of veg oil). I will probably bait the middle of the tracking tray with hedgehog food and mealworms.

Now I must decide where to put the tunnel. Perhaps under one of the hedges, by a shed, in some long grass or the wild area of the garden….Decisions, decisions.

When I’ve picked a spot in the garden, I will place the tunnel on the ground and then insert the tracking tray into the tunnel complete with the bait. All I need to do now is wait and monitor it each night.

Here are my previous findings from the small mammal tunnel:

I have had hedgehogs, rodents and a cat paw print. I think the cat must have stuck it paw down the tunnel to get at a rodent as there is just the one print.

I love the way the hedgehog prints look like tiny little hand prints-cute!

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