Muskrat trapping data in the Netherlands 1987 – 2014

Latest version published by Het Waterschapshuis on Nov 18, 2021 Het Waterschapshuis
Publication date:
18 November 2021
Published by:
Het Waterschapshuis
CC0 1.0

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 299,179 records in English (6 MB) - Update frequency: unknown
Metadata as an EML file download in English (14 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (14 KB)


Trapped muskrats in the Netherlands have been manually registered at municipal and provincial level since 1941, from 1987 they have been registered on atlas blocks (5 x 5 km) and from 2014 this is done with a smartphone at the trap location. The years of registration have yielded a valuable dataset that has been used in multiple studies.

The trapping data is in multiple GBIF datasets with different accuracies: -> MICA - Muskrat and coypu occurrences collected by UVW in the Netherlands (from 2014), data per trapped animal with exact location and date ( -> Muskrat trapping data in the Netherlands 1987 – 2014, data on atlasblock level per period of four weeks (this dataset) -> Muskrat trapping data in the Netherlands 1964 – 1986, data on province level per year (to be delivered) -> Muskrat trapping data in the Netherlands 1941 – 1963, data at municipality level per year (to be delivered) -> Coypu trapping data in the Netherlands 1988 – 2013, data at organization level per year (to be delivered)

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 299,179 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Het Waterschapshuis. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 7d75109d-a6cb-4e90-89d0-79d08577c580.  Het Waterschapshuis publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Netherlands Biodiversity Information Facility.


Occurrence; Observation


Dolf Moerkens
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Policy advisor
Unie van Waterschappen
Koningskade 40
NL-2596 AA Den Haag
Peter Blanker
  • Originator
Policy advisor
Waterschap Scheldestromen
Kanaalweg 1
NL-4337PA Middelburg
Jeroen Creuwels
  • Originator
Data manager
PO Box 9517
NL-2300 RA Leiden
Niels Raes
  • Processor
Node manager
PO Box 9517
NL-2300 RA Leiden

Geographic Coverage

The Netherlands.

Bounding Coordinates South West [50.709, 3.274], North East [53.606, 7.306]

Taxonomic Coverage

The target species for this dataset is Ondatra zibethicus.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Vertebratae
Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Cricetidae
Genus Ondatra
Species zibethicus

Temporal Coverage

Formation Period 1987-2014

Sampling Methods

Only trapped (dead) muskrats were registered

Study Extent The Netherlands
Quality Control Trapping is carried out by professional trappers

Method step description:

  1. Data are collected in the field by specialized trappers, using the predefined sampling protocol.
  2. Data from 1987-2014 are registered in atlas blocks (5 x 5 km). All data are aggregated in 13 four-weeks' time periods each year and entered in an Excel spreadsheet.
  3. An R script script is created to transform the original data structure into a single occurrence format with one value per time period per atlas block each year. Only values for atlas blocks with a number for trapped muskrats remained (299K records i.e. 64% of all records).
  4. In R geographic coordinates and accuracy are added, based on atlas block indexes, and the time periods are to rewritten into an eventDate format with a begin and an end date.
  5. The output is an DarwinCore occurrence file, which is uploaded via the NLBIF IPT and documented with metadata.

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Beheer van de Muskusrat in Nederland. Synthese van een grootschalige veldproef en parallelle studies
  2. Technische rapportage "objectbescherming en analyse van ontwikkelingen in de proefuurhokken"
  3. Toekomst van het muskusrattenbeheer in Nederland. De mogelijkheden onderzocht
  4. Cost-Benefit analysis of invasive muskrat control in The Netherlands: Complete removal as financially rational strategy
  5. A Large‐Scale Experiment to Evaluate Control of Invasive Muskrats
  6. Damage to dykes and levees in the ­ Netherlands is extensive and increases with muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) density
  7. Evidence for the effectiveness of controlling muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus L.) populations by trapping
  8. Intensieve bestrijding van muskusrat en nutria in Nederland. Ervaring gebaseerd op jarenlange controle en onderzoek
  9. A historical perspective on the effects of trapping and controlling the muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) in The Netherlands

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers 7d75109d-a6cb-4e90-89d0-79d08577c580