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Pavlov's devil

Published: 16/02/2011

During October and November 2010 cameras were placed around some of our devil traps laid at "Bangor", on the Forestier Peninsula in south east Tasmania. The idea was to see how devils use and behave around the traps.

This footage shows two elements of the trapping process: trap conditioning and actual trapping. When trap conditioning we put some meat in the trap, but the trap mechanism isn't set. That means that a devil can come in and out of the trap at will, enjoy the dining experience and be on its way. By giving the devils a nice experience and an easy snack every now and again we encourage them to come back and check out the traps without fear of always being caught.

We hope this kind of conditioning will help us wtih recapture, and hopefully to capture a broader cross-section of the devil population - including the cryptic population of devils that are particularly trap-shy, which is estimated to be as much as 25%.