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Are canid pest ejectors an effective control tool for wild dogs in an arid rangeland environment?

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Kreplins, T. L., Miller, J. and Kennedy, M. S. (2021) Are canid pest ejectors an effective control tool for wild dogs in an arid rangeland environment? Wildlife Research, 49 (3). pp. 227-236.

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/WR21043

Publisher URL: https://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/WR21043


Context: Wild dogs are a significant pest species of livestock production and native wildlife in Australia. A suite of control tools is used to mitigate predation impacts. Baiting with sodium fluoroacetate is the most commonly used control tool in Australia; however, its effectiveness can be reduced by interference by non-target species, and in some contexts by microbial degradation of the toxin. Canid pest ejectors (CPEs) are a mechanical device with an attractant ‘lure head’ designed to eject a lethal toxin into the mouth of canids pulling on the lure head. A range of lure heads can be used to attract canids to pull, and trigger CPEs.Aims: We aimed to determine whether uptake of CPEs by wild dogs in an arid rangeland environment could cause a decline in a wild dog population. We also aimed to determine whether there are particular lure heads that increase the rate of CPEs being triggered by wild dogs.Methods: We deployed one hundred CPEs over four sessions of control across three properties in the southern rangelands of Western Australia from 2018 to 2020. Each session consisted of 2 months of CPE deployment with two different lure heads, totalling eight lure head types over the entire study. All CPEs were monitored using camera traps.Key results: Wild dog density varied over the study period. In all four control sessions, a decrease in wild dog density was recorded (–46%, –5%, –13%, –38%). Wild dog activity events on camera and their interest in CPEs differed between sessions and lures (i.e. higher with scent-based lures). Non-target species did not interfere with CPEs significantly, despite a higher number of activity events by non-target species than wild dogs.Conclusions: CPEs caused a reduction of 5–46% of wild dog density when deployed in the southern rangelands of Western Australia. Non-target interference was minimal when using CPEs for wild dog control.Implications: Use of scent-based lures on felt lure heads is recommended for successful use of CPEs for wild dog control in arid rangeland environments. Future on-ground wild dog control should include CPEs as a complementary tool for the reduction of wild dog density.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Keywords:1080, camera traps, canid pest ejector, dingo, invasive species, lethal control, wild dog, wildlife management.
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Animal control and ecology
Science > Zoology > Chordates. Vertebrates > Mammals > Carnivora
Animal culture > Small animal culture
Agriculture > By region or country > Australia > Queensland
Live Archive:11 Jan 2022 02:43
Last Modified:06 Jul 2022 04:48

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