This study was initiated in response to concerns that vertebrate pest control operations in New Zealand may be having deleterious impacts on invertebrate populations and, secondarily, on insectivorous non-target vertebrate populations. Invertebrates feeding on non-toxic baits of the types used for vertebrate pest control were collected and identified. The bait types were diced carrots and three types of cereal-based baits (No.7, RS5, and AgTech).
Toxins, especially sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) and brodifacoum, are widely used throughout New Zealand for control of introduced mammals that are considered pests. This level of toxin use (not necessarily with these toxins) is unlikely to decline for at least 5-10 years. Ecological consequences derive both from mammal population reduction or eradication, and from using toxins as the control method.
This paper describes the impact of nine poison operations on ship rats in four areas (35 ha to 3200 ha) of North Island forest. Poisoning with 1080, brodifacoum, or pindone killed 87- 100% of rats, based on trapping and tracking-tunnel indices. Rat populations took 4-5 months to recover. Operations to protect nesting birds should therefore coincide with the onset of nesting and be rePeated each year, although not necessarily with the same methods.
Non-toxic plain and cinnamon-flavoured carrots and cereal-based baits used in poisoning operations for control of the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) were offered to seven species of captive rare birds at Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre. Some individuals of all species ate plain baits.
Successful possum control operations were conducted in 1990, using aerially-sown sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) possum baits, at Waipoua (85% kill) and on Rangitoto Island (93% kill). In Waipoua Forest Sanctuary, streams and rivers were monitored for 4 months after 100 tonnes of 1080 possum baits were sown over 17 000 ha of forest. At Rangitoto Island, adjacent to Auckland, surface and ground water samples were analysed for 6 months after 20 tonnes of 1080 possum baits were sown over the 2300 ha island.
A knowledge of the sensitivity of the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) to 1080 poison is important as a basis for planning effective control campaigns. This study assesses the effects that experimental procedure may have on determining the LD50 of 1080 for brushtail possums and reports on the variation in sensitivity within and between different populations of the species in Australia, where it is indigenous. LD50s obtained ranged from 0.39–0.92 mg kg-1, with 95 % confidence limits of from 0.29–1.20 mg kg-1.