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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 35(5)

A bait-suspension device for the control of feral cats

D. Algar A C, R. I. Brazell B

A Department of Environment and Conservation, Science Division, PO Box 51, Wanneroo, WA 6065, Australia.
B Department of Environment and Conservation, South West Region, Wellington District, PO Box 809, Collie, WA 6225, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: dave.algar@dec.wa.gov.au
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The use of poison baits is an effective method for controlling feral cats. However, take of baits by non-target animals may place those animals at risk of poisoning and also reduces the availability of baits to the target animal, feral cats. Therefore, techniques that reduce non-target take of baits are desirable. Earlier trials have suggested that suspending baits might prevent most non-target animals from removing the baits while maintaining their attractiveness and availability to feral cats. This paper assesses the efficacy of a bait-suspension device to provide a relatively simple means of controlling feral cats (across age and sex classes). In addition, it confirms the high target specificity of the bait-delivery mechanism on Australia’s Christmas Island, where non-target species would have posed a problem with baits laid on the ground. The technique may have potential application on other islands where similar non-target species are threatened by baiting programs or at specific sites on the mainland where aerial or on-track deployment of feral cat baits may pose an unacceptable risk to non-target species.

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