Comparison of impact between carrot and cereal 1080 baits on tomtits (Petroica macrocephala)
- Research, Development and Improvement Division, Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 13049, Christchurch, New Zealand
- Research, Development and Improvement Division, Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 10420, Wellington, New Zealand
This study investigates the hypothesis that tomtits are significantly less susceptible to 1080 poison operations when cereal rather than carrot bait applications are used, both at relatively low sowing rates. We made counts of territorial male tomtits along transects during standard 1080 possum control operations in 2001 to 2003. The transects had 3Ð5 kg ha-1 sowing rates of either carrot or cereal baits. The case-study evidence, all from operations that reduced possum populations to below five percent residual trap-catch, indicates that cereal bait operations with low sowing rates and large bait size have little, if any, immediate impact on tomtit populations. These results should be taken into account when planning aerial 1080 operations, especially given the contrasting evidence that carrot operations, even at low sowing rates, can have a negative impact on tomtits.