New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2000) 24(1): 3- 9

Controlling small mammal predators using sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) in bait stations along forestry roads in a New Zealand beech forest

Research Article
Nic Alterio  
  1. Ecosystem Consultants, P.O. Box 6161, Dunedin, New Zealand

A single five night pulse of sodium monofluroacetate (0.15% 1080) applied in bait stations at two different spacing intervals, 100 and 200 m, along forestry roads in New Zealand beech forest, killed all four of the resident radio-tagged stoats (Mustela erminea) and all three of the resident radio- tagged wild house cats (Felis catus) by secondary poisoning. Gut contents of predators indicated that house mice (Mus musculus), ship rats (Rattus rattus) and bushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) were important sources of the toxin. High kills of predators, possums and rats at both 100 and 200 m spacing regimes suggest that greater efficacy of controlling these pests would be achieved with the latter method. Evidence suggests that routine management of possums and rats using 1080 and brodifacoum has resulted in widespread control of small mammalian carnivores by secondary poisoning in New Zealand forests. However, aerial application of poison can kill large numbers of tomtits (Petroica macrocephala) and robins (Petroica australis) and few other native bird species have been adequately monitored through such operations. Reducing risks to native wildlife is responsible ecological management. Use of bait stations along forestry roads or tracks may be fundamental in mounting cost-effective :Large-scale ground-based protection of native wildlife through safer predator controls.