Feral Smart Trap
Longstanding Middy’s Warrnambool customer, Adam Mattner, has combined his background in technology with his passion for wildlife to found Feral Smart Trap.
Across Australia our wildlife face immense problems. Sadly, this is largely attributed to human activity and feral predators, resulting in the loss of animal species at an alarming rate. In fact, Australia has lost 61 species since European colonisation. 34 of those are mammals with feral predators implicated in 28 of those extinctions. The harsh reality is, that without changes to the landscape of invasive species, Australian wildlife will continue to decline. Thankfully, there are people that have made and are continuing to make great contributions in this space, like Adam and his Feral Smart Trap business.
Adam started working with technology in a professional capacity in 2007 as a technician for a Warrnambool based telephone company. In time he progressed to Managing Director and across 2007-2015, Adam enjoyed a close relationship with the Middy’s Warrnambool branch staff, who provided him excellent service and expert advice. In 2015, Adam decided to take a significant career change. He headed to the Top End working as a Tour Guide leading multi-day expeditions as well as some work as an animal handler in Darwin. The change saw him working closely with nature and wildlife, something that he had always been interested in. He was lucky enough to be brought up with a love of nature and felt a responsibility to protect and preserve the environment.
Working with nature and animals left Adam asking himself how he could utilise his years of technology experience to help Australia’s threatened species. With diverse networking and technical experience in Wi-Fi, CCTV, Cat6 & Fibre Network Installations, he knew there was a better way to help conservation teams using these technologies. That’s where the idea of a smarter feral trap was born.
The trapping system is a variation of the conventional trap and the initial prototypes focused on feral cats. Adam stresses that while domestic cats make great pets, you don’t have to research too hard to see the damage wreaked on wildlife due to the breeding of feral cats in the wild. For Adam and his business partner, Tim Knowles, it’s quite simple. Australia has millions of cats roaming in the bush who have never seen a human but survive by preying on wildlife, some at the risk of extinction from feral cats alone.
Currently they’re trialing the trap at Arkabra Conservancy, a luxury 60,000-acre private wildlife conservancy in the Flinders Ranges dedicated to the conservation of Australia’s unique wildlife and birds. The trial follows on from previous field tests and has a dedicated team of conservationists already trapping on the property. The trial will help determine what works well and areas for improvement
The basic features include a camera so that the user can see if the trap system is still functional and a door sensor to notify the user when the trap has closed. There are models being used with a release button so that the user can release non-target animals. Their aim is to have a trap that can be set more often in remote places that allow the user to minimise driving out unnecessarily to each trap. These factors will hopefully lead to greater protection for wildlife.
Middy’s have been great. They were able to help me out by supplying parts for some of our prototypes. The relationship I have with Middy’s is deeper than that though, it stems back to the many years that I enjoyed great customer service working as a technician. If the branch couldn’t help with a query, there was always a Sales Representative or TechEnergy expert that would do further investigation to provide me with options. It’s been great to maintain that relationship and I look forward to continuing it - Adam Mattner
If you’d like to support Adam and Feral Smart Trap, donations can be made for more prototypes via their chuffed.org campaign: Protect Native Wildlife - Using Smart Trapping Solutions
This article was originally featured in our quarterly Middy's MAG #32 Dec '20 - Feb '21 Edition. Read Latest Issue