New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1999) 23(2): 215- 217

Brodifacoum residues in possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) after baiting with brodifacoum cereal bait

Research Article
Diederik Meenken 1
Ken Wright 1
Adrian Couchman 2
  1. Biosecurity Department, Wellington Regional Council, P.O. Box 41, Masterton, New Zealand
  2. Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 114, Waitangi, New Zealand

The presence of brodifacoum residues in possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) livers following routine possum control was investigated. Possums were poisoned in six nature reserves in the Wellington Region, New Zealand, using cereal baits containing 20 mg kg(-1) brodifacoum dispensed from bait stations. Thirty-five surviving possums, and five dead possums were sampled from the reserves following poisoning, and their livers analysed for the presence of brodifacoum. The majority (83%) of samples contained brodifacoum at concentrations ranging from 0.007 mg kg(-1) to 6.2 mg kg(-1). The presence of significant quantities of brodifacoum in possum carcasses following poisoning operations creates potential for secondary and tertiary poisoning of non-target species.