Stoats and feral cats are key predators of some of New Zealand’s most threatened fauna and landscape-scale control tools are urgently needed. A ready-made meat bait is being developed for use in both aerial and ground-based control operations. As part of the development, two trials with non-toxic versions of the bait were undertaken: one targeting stoats in Fiordland in spring 2020 and the other targeting feral cats in the Mackenzie Basin in winter 2021. The trials aimed to assess the palatability of baits to both target and non-target species.
Managing invasive species requires knowledge of their ecology, including distribution, habitat use, and home range. In particular, understanding how biotic and abiotic factors influence home range can help with pest management decision-making, as well as informing native species management. Feral cats, self-sustaining cat populations that live independently of people, have caused numerous extinctions and continue to adversely affect native species globally.
The impact of feral cats on native wildlife is becoming increasingly recognised worldwide, making their management a necessity. As New Zealand’s Predator Free 2050 goal leads to larger and more ambitious landscape scale programmes, there is an important need for cost- and time-effective tools. Para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) was first registered in New Zealand for feral cats and stoats in 2011 under the name PredaSTOP® and has higher target specificity for feral cats than currently used toxins.
The kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus) is an iconic endemic flightless bird from New Caledonia, red-listed as endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) criteria. Feral cats are among the most successful and damaging invaders for island biodiversity. They have been directly responsible for the extinction of numerous birds worldwide, especially small- and medium-sized flightless species.
A restoration programme was initiated in 2008 in response to high levels of seabird predation by feral cats (Felis catus) at Australia’s largest fairy prion (Pachyptila turtur) colony on Tasman Island, Tasmania. The primary knockdown involved aerial baiting with para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) in meat baits. The efficacy of baiting was lower than expected resulting in trapping and hunting commencing earlier than planned. Cats were successfully eradicated over two weeks.