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Uptake of feral cat baits in Eastern Australia

Fancourt, B., Speed, J. and Gentle, M. (2017) Uptake of feral cat baits in Eastern Australia. In: 17th Australasian vertebrate pest conference, Canberra.

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Abstract

Feral cat (Felis catus) populations are notoriously difficult to control. While coordinated 1080 baiting programs are the most cost-effective option for the broad scale reduction of wild dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), feral pigs (Sus scrofa) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes), the use of 1080 baits to specifically target feral cats is currently restricted and largely untested in eastern Australian environs. We performed a feral cat baiting trial in Taunton National Park (Scientific) in central Queensland to (1) test the efficacy of the Queensland ‘Curiosity 1080 Cat Bait’, and (2) measure the uptake of baits by target and non-target species. Over 14 days, 54% of 50 individually monitored baits were removed by non-target species, with 46% removed in the first 4 days. Most baits were taken by birds, with corvids removing more than half of all baits taken. Cameras used to monitor baits did not detect any feral cats consuming or removing baits, although several cats were detected interacting with baits. The lack of bait uptake by feral cats together with movement data obtained from cat-borne GPS collars suggests that track-based baiting operations using current deployment protocols for the Queensland ‘Curiosity 1080 Cat Bait’ are unlikely to be effective at controlling feral cat populations in these environs. We discuss the implications of our findings and recommend approaches to improve the efficacy of feral cat baiting programs in eastern Australia.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Animal control and ecology
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural education > Research. Experimentation
Veterinary medicine > Predatory animals and their control
Deposited On:12 Jan 2018 01:17
Last Modified:12 Jan 2018 01:17

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