Artificial illumination reduces bait-take by small rainforest mammals

Bengsen, Andrew J., Leung, Luke K.-P., Lapidge, Steven J., and Gordon, Iain J. (2010) Artificial illumination reduces bait-take by small rainforest mammals. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 127 (1-2). pp. 66-72.

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Small mammals often moderate their foraging behaviour in response to cues indicating a high local predation risk. We assessed the ability of cues associated with a high predation risk to reduce the consumption of bait by non-target small mammal species in a tropical rainforest, without inhibiting bait-take by feral pigs (Sus scrofa). The illumination of feeding stations with a low power light source caused small mammals to reduce their foraging intensity on sunflower seeds mixed through sand by 25% (P<0.001) and on unprocessed corn-based feral pig bait by 80% (P<0.001). Illumination also reduced the intensity with which small mammals fed on commercially manufactured baits (odds ratio = 6.17, P = 0.009). Illumination did not cause pigs to reduce their intake of corn bait (P = 0.43). Neither pig nor dingo (Canis lupus dingo) vocalisations had any detectable effect on the foraging intensity of small mammals (P > 0.05 for all treatments). We conclude that site illumination was an effective method of selectively deterring small mammals from consuming feral pig baits in our study region, but had no effect on consumption of those baits by pigs.

Item ID: 42420
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9045
Keywords: bait, feral pig, giving-up density, patch use, predation risk
Funders: CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, Royal Zoological Society of NSW (RZS)
Projects and Grants: RZS Ethel Mary Read Research Grant
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2016 15:12
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060801 Animal Behaviour @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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