New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1992) 16(2): 141- 144

Evaluation of a Biodynamic Technique for Possum Pest-Control

Research Article
Charles T. Eason 1
Graham J. Hickling 2
  1. Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research New Zealand Ltd, P.O. Box 31011, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. Department of Entomology and Animal Ecology, P.O. Box 84, Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand

Bio-dynamic control involves burning pest tissue or organs and spreading the ash on areas to be protected. In New Zealand, bio-dynamic methods have been suggested for repelling possums where they damage forests or spread disease. We assessed the repellent effects of five bio-dynamic tinctures. First we tested these materials on possums in pens and noted their effects on foraging behaviour, food consumption, and body weight. Then we monitored bait consumption from treated and untreated feeder stations in the field. Although an orthodox herbivore repellent significantly deterred possums, we detected no behavioural or repellent effects of the biodynamic tinctures in any of our trials. We are unable to recommend these tinctures for possum control.