BUILDING a better cat trap has seen Australians beating a path to the door of a Tasmanian feral animal management consultant.
Feral Management Solutions Jamie Cooper, of Lilydale, in Tasmania, has included a telephone sim card in the barrel trap he has invented.
"When you dial the number, and the trap has been activated because some animal is in there, you get an engaged signal," Mr Cooper said.
"It's not all of my ideas; you have a few beers, come up with a few ideas and solutions to problems."
Checking cages was time consuming, so dialling a number on a cage was "pretty handy."
"You have a list of cages and you just ring' em," he said.
The barrel trap was placed off the ground, to stop native species such as wombats, possums and Tasmanian devils entering.
"Cats jump up onto the edge, they can see the chicken wing swinging in the breeze, so that is attractive to them and the bait, or attractant, is out of the weather, so there are no ant issues."
The bigger the cage the better for catching feral cats, as the animals did not feel threatened, he said.
"A big cat is reluctant to go into a small cage, because he can't defend himself," Mr Cooper said.
Cats often went into culverts or drains to consume their prey, so they were accustomed to the shape of the barrel.
"Where other cages haven't caught cats, this has outperformed everything."
The next stage was to fit an automatic re-arming system, hooked up to a CCTV camera, to tell what animal was in the trap.
"You can look at the image and if it's a non-target species, you can open it up and let him out."
The trap was constructed of recycled materials and plans would be available for anyone who wanted them, he said.