* Take a look at the NHBS Blog for an interview with the inventor of the BioEcoSS TubeTrap *
An easy to use and cost-effective trap, ideal for use by researchers, conservationists and students. The innovative design of this trap provides a safe method of trapping even the smallest mammals such as shrews, and consists of robust plastic construction with self-lubricating and fully replaceable parts. Available with or without a shrew hole. Please select the version you require from the drop down list above.
* The TubeTrap is made completely from plastic which means that parts are self lubricating and will not corrode, even in wet, warm or cold weather. The green colour of the trap makes it inconspicuous in the field. All parts are easily replaceable - for individual parts please see the accessories below. A PDF showing detailed assembly instructions is also available to download.
* The nest box has a double walled design which helps to keep the occupant warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The internal space also has a smooth surface, minimising the chance of harm or escape by trapped animals. This design also makes the inside of the trap easy to clean.
* The treadle mechanism inside the trap is extremely sensitive and can be tripped by animals weighing as little as 3g. The trip weight can be quickly adjusted and the setting is easily visible. Although sensitive, the treadle mechanism has an articulated, counter-balanced design which reduces the risk of tripping it accidentally.
* The bottom hinged trap door closes neatly, even when the trap is placed on sloping ground. The door is made from white plastic which makes it easily visible in both open and closed positions. A pre-bait lock is simple to set and clearly indicates when the trap is locked.
* The tunnel base has no side walls and the tunnel lid opens through a full 180°, which makes it very easy to clean.
* A swivel foot on the base of the trap provides increased stablility on uneven ground and can be twisted back into alignment with the trap for compact storage.
* Optional shrew hole: The trap can be purchased with either a solid door or with a reinforced hole which allows shrews to escape from the trap. As the doors can be changed quickly and easily, by purchasing an additional door, you can use the same trap as a shrew or non-shrew version during different surveys.
* A transparent name plate holder allows the trap number and user's details to be displayed. An Excel template for TubeTrap labels is available to download below.
A Carry Case is also available which will let you store and carry ten TubeTraps.
* TubeTrap Instructions (PDF)
* TubeTrap Assembly Instructions (PDF)
* TubeTrap Labels (Excel)
NB: Some small mammal species are protected by law (e.g. shrews in the UK) and you must obtain a licence from Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage or Natural Resources Wales if you set traps with the intention of trapping any species of shrew. Please ensure you are aware of and meet the requirements of any relevant laws in the country in which you are trapping.
* Length (assembled): 260mm
* Length (packed for storage): 210mm
* Diameter: 80mm
* Height of entrance: 32mm
* Weight: 280g
"...The traps worked wonderfully the other weekend – and caught woodmice and bankvoles without the need to prebait or wash any residual newness off them. (8 out of 10 caught – identical rate compared with longworths)..."
"...The course...went very well with all 20 tube traps catching – no failures or problems (compared to trap failures and false alarms with the 10 longworths used !!!). 16 woodmice, 13 bankvoles, 4 field voles, 3 pygmy shrews and 2 common shrews caught over just 2 nights/3 days. (grassland and woodland habitats with 15 traps in each transect). Excellent..."
A well-known mammal ecologist, specialising in otters!
"...We set 24 longworth traps and 19 tube traps last night, our catch rate with the longworths is 16%, tube traps today 37% (wood mice and bank voles). Generally the group very happy with the traps..."
Portal Woodlands Conservation Group
"...First results for the traps look good. I had a 30% success rate with the tubetraps and 0% with the LWs, on a night which was far from ideal for trapping small mammals! One of the most useful things about the tubes for me is that they didn't get false triggers, unlike 70% of the LWs."
A County Mammal Group
"....I tried these [Longworths] out alongside the Tubes when I carried out the tests/trails for my actual survey and despite my inexperience with both types I found that the Tubes caught every time a Longworth did and did not give any false indications unlike the Longworth’s..."
"...During the survey for the dissertation...I only used Tubes...Sum total of 3 field voles, 1 bank vole, 7 woodmice, 7 common shrews."
"...they seem to out-perform the Longworth’s, would seem to me to offer better conditions for the captives (warmer and drier due to insulated nest chamber and even a smaller [more cosy?!] chamber that does not contain a lot of potentially cold air) and are a doddle to use, clean, maintain and carry around!! Better for surveys, better for mammals, better for surveyor…a winner all round!!"
Martin Noble - Research Student
"...I'd like to add that once I had got used to them I found the green tube traps much easier to handle, transport, clean and empty than the Longworths. As I was carrying out trapping over winter I was much more confident in the insulation properties of the new trap design and from my point of view it was much more pleasant handling plastic than cold metal traps with bare hands in the early morning! Having said that, there were no mortalities in any of the traps. I will certainly recommend them to anyone who is looking to purchase new traps..."
Another County Mammal Group
"When we have used the tube traps, we’ve found more shrews (including a pygmy) than our Longworths did previously, and I would say similar amounts of mice and voles..."
Sarah Antis-Smith - Preston Montford Field Centre
"Just to let you know that I have had a good capture rate with the traps that I bought off you. Did an event in the Wyre Forest 7th to the 9th March, just, and caught 4 mice on the 8th and 7 mice on the 9th. All good!"
Paul Wright - Shropshire Mammal Group
"... very successful week monitoring the SMs in a field where the barn owls hunt. We had 42 BioEcoSS traps and 42 Longworths out in pairs at each station, and baited and set 6 times. What was wonderful was the number of shrews, not least pigmy shrews we caught, and perhaps re-caught.
BioEcoSS (TubeTrap): 15 common shrews and 12 pigmy shrews.
Longworth: 6 common shrews and 3 pigmy shrews.
John Watt - Lancashire Mammal Group
"I used mine last night and put out 18, got 7 woodmice and a pygmy shrew! Brilliant!"
Sue Searle - Acorn Ecology
Replacement nest box
Replacement door/treadle set. Includes the door, treadle and treadle arms.
The BioEcoSS TubeTraps were a joy to use, not only did they return better captures compared to Longworth traps (64:43 respectively), they also caught an additional three species. The BioEcoSS TubeTraps caught bank voles, field voles, pygmy shrews, a common shrew, yellow-necked mice and wood mice (with no mortalities!). Using these traps ensured the best possible return of results when small mammal surveying, and made the time spent in the field worthwhile. Whilst the above study used ground and above ground trap placement, the TubeTraps were easy to place above ground because of their smooth cylindrical shape, whilst the Longworth’s were a struggle and the sharp corners would catch on brambles and twigs causing the latch to collapse on itself. In addition, the TubeTraps were so easy to clean out and only required wiping, were painless to transport to field locations due to their carry boxes, and they hardly false triggered – with only three false triggers occurring over a 240 trap night period. The trap is very reasonably priced, and the snap-in-place system means the trap really lasts and can be fixed without the need to purchase a completely new trap.