Date of this Version
Legislative changes to regulations surrounding the use of traps and other capture devices have unambiguously impacted the manner in which these devices can be used. In many cases the revisions to trapping legislation have resulted in shortened trap check intervals. This change has increased the costs of using capture devices and decreased the efficiency of Wildlife Services (WS) specialists working in the field. The use of trap monitors may result in cost savings and increased efficiency. Trap monitor systems function as a remote notification system that can identify trap status. These monitor systems can be used as an alternative to visually inspecting the trap, potentially reducing costs. A benefit-cost analysis is an economic method that can be used to evaluate the efficiency of the use of trap monitors by comparing the costs of the trap monitor system to the benefits of reduced specialist time and resources used. This paper describes a method to estimate cost savings associated with the use of trap monitor systems by the WS program and discusses potential scenarios where trap monitors would provide cost savings. This type of analysis aides in legislative decision-making processes through the identification of trapping situations in which the use of trap monitor systems are economical and through quantifying the return per dollar invested in trap monitor systems.