A new digital platform for recording mouse activity is being developed by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IACRC) in partnership with the GRDC, Landcare Research and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
Coordinated by Peter West at the IACRC, the ‘MouseAlert’ platform is the first of its kind in Australia, allowing growers to record and view mouse activity in their local area in real time.
Dr Simon Humphrys, program leader at the IACRC, says: “The web and mobile-based mapping system aims to record mouse activity to provide an early warning system for changes in mouse numbers, and to help with predicting mouse plagues.
“This tool provides the missing link in understanding how mouse numbers are changing across Australia and how farm management practices change the risk of mouse damage, but does rely on landowner participation.”
MouseAlert is based on an online mapping platform on the MouseAlert website (www.mousealert.org.au) and can be accessed by mobile device users.
“By using the GPS in your mobile device, you can zoom to your current location and view or add information in your local area. Alternatively, use Google Maps to navigate to your local area,” explained Mr West, who presented MouseAlert at the mouse forum, held in Maitland, South Australia, in April.
“Our aim is to make it quick and easy to enter data, while at the same time to gather the key information required to enable better understanding of mouse population dynamics and manage mouse damage risk over the growing season.”
The research team hopes that this free resource will be used by growers and agronomists to record and examine mouse activity in their local area to help with monitoring and coordinating local control.
If growers would like to try MouseAlert they can visit the website.
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