With the help of Priority 1 Design, we have put together stationary RFID readers that can be placed in the ground, directly outside a woodrat den. The reader is hooked up to a 12V battery, timer, and SD card that records and stores data. The reader’s antenna is epoxyed to the lid of a Snapware container (all components are inside the water-tight container, secured in place with velcro). Tagged woodrats crossing over the antenna (within 3-5 inches) are detected and each event is recorded with a date/time stamp. We check on readers every two weeks to change out batteries and SD cards.
So far, we are finding that readers detect resident woodrats, as well as visitors, providing additional social information that we don’t get from live-trapping. However, the readers are limited in their detection ability. We are looking into purchasing a single, portable RFID reader with a much stronger antenna and read range, that will be able to detect tagged woodrats while they are inside their dens during the day.