New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1995) 19(1): 73- 76

Suitability of Aerially Sown Artificial Baits as a Technique for Poisoning Feral Goats

Research Article
D. M. Forsyth 1,3
J. P. Parkes 2
  1. Department of Zoology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag, Christchurch 1, New Zealand
  2. Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, P.O. Box 69, Lincoln, New Zealand
  3. Present address: Department of Entomology and Animal Ecology, Lincoln University, P.O. Box 84, Canterbury, New Zealand

The preferences of a captive herd of goats with feral ancestry were evaluated for 11 artificial pest control baits and commercial stock feed pellets. A commercial stock food pellet (based on barley, bran, and oats) was the most preferred basic bait. A mixture of 2% diced Griselinia littoralis (broadleaf) leaves (a preferred natural food plant) and 2% molasses (per weight of basic bait) increased palatability of this basic bait. The best lured bait was aerially sown at I kg ha(-1) in a 380 ha area with about 50 feral goats. Only 25% of the goats were shown by the biological tracer iophenoxic acid to have eaten baits after 8 days. We conclude that one-hit aerial poisoning of goats is unlikely to be effective as a control method because most goats are unlikely to eat food from off the ground.