Target-specificity of feral pig baits under different conditions in a tropical rainforest

Bengsen, Andrew J., Leung, Luke K-P., Lapidge, Steven J., and Gordon, Iain J. (2011) Target-specificity of feral pig baits under different conditions in a tropical rainforest. Wildlife Research, 38 (5). pp. 370-379.

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Context: The mitigation of feral pig (Sus scrofa) impacts in north Queensland's World Heritage tropical rainforests is constrained by the lack of an effective and target-specific poison baiting method.

Aims: This study aimed to determine whether easily implemented bait presentation methods or seasonal variation in bait acceptability could be used to selectively reduce the consumption of feral pig baits by non-target species.

Methods: We exposed manufactured feral pig baits to pigs and non-target species in the field, and compared bait encounter, sampling and consumption rates for different functional groups of species among three different types of bait presentation and composition. We then exposed baits under different seasonal conditions and related bait encounter and consumption by different functional groups to seasonally variable phenomena.

Key results: Shallow burial greatly reduced bait consumption by most non-target species, but not dingoes (Canis lupus dingo). Nocturnal bait distribution and seasonal baiting were less useful. Pigs showed substantial seasonal variation in physiological condition, suggesting that pigs should be more susceptible to consuming novel foods, such as baits, after periods of low rainfall. However, few pigs consumed the manufactured baits used in this study.

Conclusions: Manufactured baits are not currently suitable for widespread use in the region. However, shallow burial should provide an effective method of reducing non-target bait-take if baits can be made more attractive and acceptable to pigs and less acceptable to dingoes.

Implications: Future efforts to enable effective feral pig control in the region should focus on developing baiting materials that are more attractive to pigs and unappealing to dingoes.

Item ID: 42427
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-5494
Funders: CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IACRC)
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2016 15:12
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050103 Invasive Species Ecology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960404 Control of Animal Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Forest and Woodlands Environments @ 100%
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