Hokkaido University Research Profiles


Development of Den-type Traps to Reduce the Cost of Non-native Raccoon Control

Tohru Ikeda Professor

To establish an effective and efficient pest control method in low-density situations

We have been conducting research on measures to control alien species that have been brought into Japan, with the aim of proposing effective control technologies and strategies that can match the ecological and behavioral characteristics of the target species and respond to the conditions of human society. In this study, we developed an efficient trap based on the tree-cave nesting habit of raccoons.

Content of research

Control of non-native raccoons, which are increasing in number and causing damage in Hokkaido and other parts of Japan, is an urgent policy issue, and reducing the cost of the prolonged control project is the most important issue in the field. Conventional trapping methods rely only on box traps with bait, and require daily patrols and inspections regardless of whether raccoons have been trapped or not, to prevent bycatch of other animals and to replace bait, and the amount of work does not decrease, even after the population density has been reduced. The den-type trap developed in this study, based on the nesting habit of raccoons in tree caves, does not require bait to attract raccoons, reduces bycatch, and eliminates the need for daily inspections, thereby keeping the cost of pest control extremely low. The trap is also equipped with a system that allows the office to receive capture information via radio waves, making it possible for a small number of people to implement a wide range of pest control measures with a low budget.

  • A den-type trap set in the open air and a captured raccoon.

Potential for social implementation

  • ・Efficient capture in low population density situations
  • ・Realization of low-budget, long-term pest control measures
  • ・Capture in areas inhabited by brown bears and other dangerous animals
  • ・Implementation of pest control measures in areas that are inaccessible to humans, such as evacuation areas around nuclear power plants

Appealing points to industry and local governments

By using this system, municipalities that are short staffed and struggling to secure countermeasure personnel and budgets can implement a wide range of long-term pest control projects at low cost. By taking measures at the initial stage of invasion (currently under development in our laboratory) based on regional characteristics into consideration, it will be possible to implement pest control at all stages from the initial invasion to regional eradication.