RFID Readers


Dusky-footed woodrat at RFID station baited with oats.

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.

A stationary RFID reader buried in the ground next to a den entry/exit.

A stationary RFID reader buried in the ground next to a den entry/exit.

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.


RFID data from 2013-04-08. The first column displays the date and time stamp. The final column displays tag IDs. On this particular evening, three different woodrat tags were detected.