Pacific Conservation Biology Pacific Conservation Biology Society
A journal dedicated to conservation and wildlife management in the Pacific region.

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

Bait resistance in invasive species: mechanisms and management

Sinead Allsop , Shannon Dundas , Peter Adams , Tracey Kreplins , Bill Bateman , Trish Fleming


‘Bait-resistance’ is defined as progressive decreases in bait efficacy in controlled pest species populations. Understanding the mechanisms by which bait-resistance can develop is important for the sustainable control of pests worldwide, for both wildlife conservation programmes and agricultural production. Bait-resistance is influenced by both behavioural (innate and learned bait avoidance behaviour) and physiological aspects of the target pest species (its natural diet, its body mass, the mode of action of the toxin, and the animal’s ability to biochemically break down the toxin). In this review, we summarise the scientific literature, discuss factors that can lead to innate and learned aversion to baits, as well as physiological tolerance. We address the question of whether bait avoidance or tolerance to 1080 could develop in the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), an introduced predator of significant economic and environmental importance in Australia. Sub-lethal poisoning has been identified as the primary cause of both bait avoidance and increased toxin-tolerance, and so, finally, we provide examples of how management actions can minimise the risk of sub-lethal baits in pest species populations.

PC17006  Accepted 09 August 2017

© CSIRO 2017