Adding kills is too hard - comment if you agree

Hi Everyone,

First : I’d like to thank the software developers who’ve created this Trap.NZ the website and mobile app.
It is great that we’re able to share our data via the TrapNZ site and database.

Second : I trap in an urban environment, and have mouse / rat and possum traps on my property.

The challenge : it is too hard to log kills for my traps, so I do it but it is a pain to do.
The rest of this post is about why it is difficult and how it may be improved.
Please comment if you have the same trouble.
I’m putting this into the forum because several other people I know who have traps have basically given up logging their kills.

Basically :
I can log catches if I use the website “add catches” page.
If I use the mobile app, click a trap, enter the data, then click save. Then when I’m done click Synchronise.

But it could be better, it takes less time to remove a rat and rebait a trap than log that one kill.

So … As an urban trapper I want logging a kill (thing I do the most) to be the fastest easist thing to do in the phone app. Because then I’ll log the kills right away rather than waiting a few weeks, then trying to remember what we’ve killed and entering it then.

One way to make that happen:

  • have the app remember me all the time.
    It doesn’t have financial or personal information inside it so just make it log in for ever with my username and password so I don’t have to remember my username and password.
  • Show me my traps at the very start. Not a map, but a list of traps.
    The system knows I’m a member of a project, BUT it also knows the traps I’ve updated in the past (the database has my name against a list of traps that I’ve added, and or logged catches against). Use the data you have to just show the list of traps I’ve done something to in the past X months or days.
  • Give me a catch button for each trap.
  • Click the catch button for a trap shows me: animal I caught in that trap last time, bait I used last time, etc etc The mobile app does this to some extent now. But not the species caught.
    The system knows what type of trap each one is (and yes sometimes a rat trap catches a mouse) but have the default kill set to the thing the trap is designed for. OR better yet what I usually catch. Honestly why is cat an option when the trap type is “Rat trap”.
  • Click save button
  • Show me the list of traps again.
    Rinse and repeat.

If the system was like this I could go out, reset all my traps (2 mice, several rat, one possum), dispose of the dead bodies, then pull out my phone and log the catches and the total time would be about 10mins.

Tonight I sat down to do a months worth of catches and it took me an hour, partly due to several 500 errors in the mobile app json page and it not sending the data to the website. [ if i can get screen shot I’ll log it as a different message in the forum]

An improvement to this for those looking after long lines of traps would be to have the list of traps shown be those close to the phone e.g. only show traps in the list within 500m of the phone’s location. But you should talk to the folks walking those lines to see how they work.

Please take this as constructive suggestion rather than being negative. I really appreciate the effort that has gone into the TrapNZ system. I hope this user story helps the development team understand one way that this user works.

Comment below if you think this would help you out so the TrapNZ team can gauge if this sort of work should be prioritised.

Many thanks Dorje


Hi @Dorje

Thanks for this feedback. As you can tell there are functions needed for reserve type projects that may be overkill for urban users with a small number of traps to look after.

There is a backyard interface which will just show you your traps and is a quicker way to log individual records:

This should work reasonably well on a phone although because it is web-based you will need to be in cell coverage to use it.

We are updating the app which will resolve the synching issues. These suggestions are very useful and will help us prioritise features included in the next round(s) of development.

The Trap.NZ team

I’ll vote to disagree. I don’t find it difficult, but I use the browser based web site.

It was a difficult interface style to learn; not intuitive… perhaps only because it is unlike the many, many data entry systems I have used over the years. However, once learnt… easy as.

One fair criticism might be performance: I frequently wait 20-30 seconds for the list of traps to appear once I’ve pressed “Filter”. Even longer for saving the catches. I’ve coded many databases over my many years… and 30 seconds for such a small dataset is a mystery.


I entirely agree. I am not entirely computer illiterate but I find it is so awkward and slow I have stopped trying to use the site to record kills although I think it is a great idea. I do not understand having a separate backyard trapping portal. Surely it should all be readily accessible in the same place or what is the point? Maybe a basic level for anyone to use and another level for people running bigger and more complex projects. An app based system might be more flexible.


I entirely agree too. Keep up the good work though.

Use website to manage input. App is pretty rubbish, backyard-trapper interface too limited and one-way (so confusing, i reckon). We have just logged our 1,000th catch (by collating pre-project, historical data too). Bingo


Yes I don’t bother logging my kills either. Just too hard tbh.

Yes logging kills is very time wasting - if you have lots to input with the same date/details the ‘multi-input’ facility is fine, but for single inputs it is just too hard. We need an alternative ie display a list of traps and select the one you want to input the catch data for. It is disturbing that folk have stopped inputting kills - I hope the Systems Admins are rectifying this quickly otherwise the data here is incomplete and not a true record of progress.

I fully agree with your comments Dorje. The site is an excellent idea, but it is vital that it is dead easy use by ordinary people or it will not yield reliable information.
As a farmer we do not have time to mess around with an application that doesn’t work quickly and seamlessly. It is a dog having to zoom into ones property every time you open the application. It should remember you and display your traps immediately. To enter data you should be able to do it 10 seconds or less per trap and be able to get on with our important daily tasks.
Fine tune the application and it has the potential to be an excellent resource.
Full marks so far but lets hope for a decent upgrade.

Alpine Barrie

1 Like

Yes, agree. Love the idea and the work put into the app. Thanks for that. From a guy just starting on the app I find I have more time trying to log the kills than running the line. The not remembering my log in is a big issue for me, in the field with mud on my hands, sweat in my eyes a toe on my quad break, my dog trying to get to the next trap and having to try and enter passwords into my phone is a lot extra to deal with.

One thought I had was maybe have a way to enter the catch from a line from a day or week after I am back at the house. If I could go up to the computer and just enter 12 possums and 1 stoat for my line that day would be fast and simple for me.

Thanks again for the app work.

Strongly agree. I tried to log my rat kills when I started, earlier this year, but have found it difficult to understand how to do it and have abandoned my attempts for now…

A quick way I have found to do it, is to click on the my account button up the top and then there is a list of one’s own traps. Can click on the offending trap and then click the add record button.



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Hi, I was wondering if it would be easier to have a bulk update view, or to be able to associate a catch with a line rather than a specific trap. This way people would be able to look at their trap line or all the traps they have and just enter a number per trap and a species. Once all the numbers are added they could be recoreded. The backyard trapper view is close, but if there were two more columns to add a number and a species so they could all be updated at once that would be great.

I find it really quite easy to use especially now that it pre populates with your bait. It does annoy me a bit, though I understand why, that you have to enter detail about bait twice when you have a double trap - if you could link that so it pre populates the other half ( obviously not if sprung etc).

I agree. It is much easier, more flexible and quicker for me to use my paper system, both for recording and also for telling others what I have done (reports). It is interesting that most of the replies agree that the app is tedious to use, but despite that it seems quite popular.

I do mostly bait stations, and just use the old fashioned notebook approach, as I’m just not a phone app user - too hard to read for me, and the web page can be a bit tedious.

The notebook gets a bit wet sometimes, but beats tapping on a wet phone screen and doesn’t break either :slight_smile:

I have a csv template that I fill out from the notebook data and periodically upload.

thanks I’ll try that

We’ve caught 2x rats in the last 2 days and I am having trouble logging them on the app. I’m not sure if it’s registering our kills or not!

I agree - the app is rubbish for adding kills.
Easy on the PC as my login is saved and dropdowns are quick.

Hi Alpine Barrie,

Thanks for the feedback !

If you get your lines set up correctly your 10 seconds per trap is very much achievable. The following should help, let me know if not:

I personally add trap records in batches, I’ll do five traps then back fill the results, or back fill them when I get a capture.