Yesterday I mentioned live mammal trapping, and our original post describing the Golden Swallow Jamaica Expedition referred to animal surveys as well. Today we tried setting up our tents and our traps, to make sure everything is in working order and also to see how fast we can build up and break down the gear. We’re each using our own personal tent — two Marmots and an Eureka — and we’ll have three Tomahawk Live Trap cages for the surveying.
We were able to get our tents up in a satisfying six minutes, a number which will likely shrink by a good amount after one month in the field. The traps, apart from baiting time, can be activated from their storage position in less than ten seconds. The solid metal rectangle you see inside the cage is a pressure plate that triggers the folding door to close and lock in position. Every evening we’ll set up the traps with some bait outside of our base camp and in the morning we’ll check what critters have been attracted overnight, identify them, and let them go.