New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2002) 26(1): 81- 85

Rabbit bait-take from plastic bait stations

Short Communication
K. P. Brown 1,2
  1. Department of Conservation, Private Bag, Twizel, New Zealand
  2. Address for correspondence: 18 Kereru Street, Waikanae, New Zealand

Plastic bait stations were trialled to assess their usefulness as a rabbit control tool. Non-toxic cereal baits were applied at two 171 ha Mackenzie Basin sites, at one site in stations and at the other site spread directly on the ground. Bait-take at each site was measured. Rhodamine-dyed baits were also used to determine the proportion of rabbits at each site that took bait. Bait-take, and the proportion of shot rabbits with stomachs containing dye, were both significantly lower (P ² 0.0001) at the bait station site. The bait station design used in this trial is unlikely to prove an effective rabbit control tool. Alternative bait station designs should be tested if bait stations are to be used for rabbit control.