Measuring interference with possum bait by native birds
This study aimed to quantify the risk to free-ranging, native birds from four new types of bait, which will be used with micro-encapsulated zinc phosphide (Zn₃P₂) for the control of possum. Six poisons are currently registered for possum control in New Zealand, with sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) being the most extensively used. This toxin can be incorporated into various bait types and has been shown to be an extremely cost-effective method of initially removing >90% of a possum population (Eason et al. 1994). However, due to ongoing public opposition to use of 1080 (Eason 1995), the Animal Health Board has funded extensive research to identify cost-effective alternatives for controlling possum. Opposition to 1080 is a manifestation of the perceived risk to human health, the risk of secondary poisoning for dogs (Meenken and Booth 1997), the incidental poisoning of feral deer (Fraser and Knightsbridge 1995), and the risk of primary poisoning for native birds (Spurr 1994). This study's objectives are to quantify the risk to native bird species from new cereal, paste, polymer and gel possum bait by: • calculating the palatability of each new bait type compared with an existing possum bait (cereal No. 7 bait); • measuring the mean consumption of each new bait type compared with an existing possum bait (cereal No. 7 bait); and • observing and recording the behaviour of native birds for each new bait type compared with an existing possum bait (cereal No. 7 bait).... [Show full abstract]
TypeReport (Commissioned Report)
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