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Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 34(4)

Persistence of sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) in fox baits and implications for fox management in south-eastern Australia

M. N. Gentle A B C D, G. R. Saunders A, C. R. Dickman B

A Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Forest Road, Orange, NSW 2800, Australia.
B Institute of Wildlife Research, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
C Present address: Robert Wicks Pest Animal Research Centre, Biosecurity Queensland, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 203 Tor Street, Toowoomba, Qld 4350, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: matthew.gentle@dpi.qld.gov.au
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The persistence of 1080 in two commonly used fox baits, Foxoff® and chicken wingettes, was assessed under different climatic and rainfall conditions in central-western New South Wales. The rate of 1080 degradation did not change significantly between the Central Tablelands and the relatively hotter and drier environment of the Western Slopes. Loss of 1080 from wingettes was independent of the rainfall and climate conditions, with wingettes remaining lethal to foxes for, on average, 0.9 weeks. Foxoff® baits remained lethal for longer than wingettes under all tested conditions, although their rate of degradation increased generally with increasing rainfall. As a result, areas baited with Foxoff® will require longer withholding periods for working dogs than those baited with wingettes, especially during dry periods. Wingettes may have advantages for use in sensitive areas where long-term hazards from toxic baits are undesirable. We found significant variations in 1080 concentration in freshly prepared baits that may result in efficacy, non-target and regulatory concerns for baiting campaigns. As a result, the superior quality control and shelf-stability of manufactured Foxoff® may be important criteria for favouring its use over freshly prepared bait types. However, use strategies for any bait type must ensure that foxes consume lethal doses of 1080 to avoid potential problems such as the development of learned aversion to baits or pesticide resistance.

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