Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

1080 aerial baiting for the control of wild dogs and its impact on spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) populations in eastern Australia

Gerhard Körtner
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

Biodiversity, Conservation and Science Section, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, c/- Zoology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia. Present address: Centre for Behavioural and Physiological Ecology, Zoology, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia. Email: gkoertne@une.edu.au

Wildlife Research 34(1) 48-53 https://doi.org/10.1071/WR06076
Submitted: 20 June 2006  Accepted: 12 January 2007   Published: 27 February 2007


To further investigate the non-target impact of baiting using sodium monofluoroacetate (compound 1080) to control wild dogs, a population of radio-collared spotted-tailed quolls was subject to an experimental aerial baiting exercise. The trial was conducted at a site on the New England Tablelands, New South Wales, without a recent history of that practice. Sixteen quolls were trapped and radio-collared before baiting. Fresh meat baits were delivered from a helicopter at a rate of 10–40 baits km–1. In addition to 1080 (4.2 mg), each bait contained the bait marker rhodamine B (50 mg), which becomes incorporated into growing hair if an animal survives bait consumption. Two quoll mortalities were recorded following aerial baiting. Both quolls died 3–5 weeks after baiting when baits, on average, retained little 1080. None of the carcasses contained traces of 1080, but the test result is less reliable for the quoll that was found 19 days after its death although tissue was well preserved because of the cool weather. Nevertheless, given that this animal died 34 days after bait delivery, it appears likely that none of the radio-collared quolls succumbed to baiting. In contrast, vibrissae samples collected from 19 quolls captured after the baiting showed that 68% had eaten baits and survived. Furthermore, multiple bait takes were common, with up to six baits consumed by one female. The results demonstrate that most, if not all, quolls survived the baiting trial, including those that consumed dog baits. Hence bait consumption figures per se are not indicative of mortality rates attributable to poisoning.


The project was overseen by a steering committee, which comprised members from the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), NSW Department of Lands, Armidale Rural Lands Protection Board, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, NSW Farmers’ Association and the Wildlife Preservation Society of Australia. I am grateful for the assistance of Peter Watson during the fieldwork and thankful for the active support from DEC staff, the Jeogla Wild Dog Control Association, the Armidale Rural Lands Protection Board, NSW State Forests (now part of the DPI) and the University of New England. I thank Harold and Shirley Heffernan for providing accommodation, Scott Bowers for flying the helicopter, Barbara Vanselow and Alan Jackson for performing the post-mortems, David Fairbridge from Vertebrate Pest Research Department, Victorian Institute of Animal Science, Department of Primary Industries for conducting the rhodamine B analyses and the Alan Fletcher Research Station for the 1080 assays on the baits and quoll carcasses. The project was funded by DEC and a grant from the NSW Department of Lands. Baiting trials were approved by DPI and by DEC following a Conservation Risk Assessment. Further licences were issued by the DEC Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC No. 030915/02), DEC Wildlife Licensing (S10642), Special Purpose Permit, Forestry Commission of NSW (Styx River State Forest, No. 22138), Australian Pesticide and Veterinary Medicine Authority (Ref. No. 8232) and Department of Environment and Heritage under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Ref. 2005/1962).


Belcher, C. A. (1998). Susceptibility of the tiger quoll, Dasyurus maculatus, and the eastern quoll, D. viverrinus, to 1080-poisoned baits in control programmes for vertebrate pests in eastern Australia. Wildlife Research 25, 33–40.
CrossRef |

Belcher, C. A. (2003). Demographics of tiger quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) populations in south-eastern Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology 51, 611–626.
CrossRef |

Belcher C. (2004). The largest surviving marsupial carnivore on mainland Australia: the tiger or spotted-tailed quoll Dasyurus maculatus, a nationally threatened, forest-dependent species. In ‘Conservation of Australia’s Forest Fauna’. (Ed. D. Lunney.) pp. 612–623. (Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales: Sydney.)

Claridge, A. W. , Murray, A. J. , Dawson, J. , Poore, R. , Mifsud, G. , and Saxon, M. J. (2006). The propensity of spotted-tailed quolls (Dasyurus maculatus) to encounter and consume non-toxic meat baits in a simulated canid-control program. Wildlife Research 33, 85–91.
CrossRef |

Cremasco P. (2005). 1080 baiting for wild dog control in Queensland, using fresh meat: a quoll-ity practise. In ‘Proceedings of the 3rd NSW Pest Animal Control Conference’. (Ed. S. Balogh.) pp. 122–125. (NSW Agriculture: Orange, NSW.)

Firestone, K. B. , Elphinstone, M. S. , Sherwin, W. B. , and Houlden, B. A. (1999). Phylogeographical population structure of tiger quolls Dasyurus maculatus (Dasyuridae: Marsupialia), an endangered carnivorous marsupial. Molecular Ecology 8, 1613–1625.
CrossRef | PubMed |

Fisher, P. , Algar, D. , and Sinagra, J. (1999). Use of rhodamine B as a systemic bait marker for feral cats (Felis catus). Wildlife Research 26, 281–285.
CrossRef |

Fleming, P. J. S. , and Korn, T. J. (1989). Predation of livestock by wild dogs in eastern New South Wales. Australian Rangeland Journal 11, 61–66.
CrossRef |

Fleming, P. J. S. , and Parker, R. W. (1991). Temporal decline of 1080 within meat baits used for the control of wild dogs in New South Wales. Wildlife Research 18, 729–740.
CrossRef |

Fleming P. J. S., Corbett L., Harden R., and Thompson P. (2001). ‘Managing the Impact of Dingoes and Other Wild Dogs.’ (Bureau of Rural Sciences: Canberra.)

Glen, A. S. , and Dickman, C. R. (2006). Home range, denning behaviour and microhabitat use of the carnivorous marsupial Dasyurus maculatus in eastern Australia. Journal of Zoology 268, 347–354.
CrossRef |

Jones M. E., Oakwood M., Belcher C. A., Morris K., Murray A. J., Wooley P. A., Firestone K. B., Johnson B., and Burnett S. (2003). Carnivore concerns: problems, issues and solutions for conserving Australasia’s marsupial carnivores. In ‘Predators with Pouches: The Biology of Carnivorous Marsupials’. (Eds M. Jones, C. Dickman and M. Archer.) pp. 422–434. (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)

King, D. R. (1989). An assessment of the hazard posed to northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus) by aerial baiting with 1080 to control dingoes. Australian Wildlife Research 16, 569–574.
CrossRef |

Körtner, G. , and Watson, P. (2005). The immediate impact of 1080 aerial baiting to control wild dogs on a spotted-tailed quoll population. Wildlife Research 32, 673–680.
CrossRef |

Körtner, G. , Gresser, S. , and Harden, B. (2003). Does fox baiting threaten the spotted-tailed quoll, Dasyurus maculatus? Wildlife Research 30, 111–118.
CrossRef |

Körtner, G. , Gresser, S. , Mott, B. , Tamayo, B. , Pisanu, P. , Bayne, P. , and Harden, B. (2004). Population structure, turnover and movement of spotted-tailed quolls on the New England Tablelands. Wildlife Research 31, 475–484.
CrossRef |

Kramer, H. L. (1984). Liquid chromatography determination of sodium fluoroacetate (compound 1080) in meat baits and formulations. Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists 67, 1058–1061.

Kramer, H. L. , Merrell, P. W. , and Burren, B. J. (1987). Use of sodium fluoroacetate (compound 1080) in the control of dingoes. I. Meat bait preparation techniques. Australian Wildlife Research 14, 65–68.
CrossRef |

McIlroy, J. C. (1981). The sensitivity of Australian animals to 1080 poison. II. Marsupial and eutherian carnivores. Australian Wildlife Research 8, 385–399.
CrossRef |

McIlroy J. C. (1999). Species impact statement: aerial baiting with 1080 poison for wild dog control in New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service reserves. Prepared for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville, NSW. December 1999.

McIlroy, R. J. , Gifford, E. J. , and Carpenter, S. M. (1988). The effect of rainfall and blowfly larvae on the toxicity of ‘1080’-treated meat baits used in poisoning campaigns against wild dogs. Australian Wildlife Research 15, 473–483.
CrossRef |

Meenken, D. , and Booth, L. H. (1997). The risk to dogs of poisoning from sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) residues in possums (Trichosurus vulpecula). New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research 40, 573–576..

Morgan, D. R. (1982). Field acceptance of non-toxic and toxic baits by populations of the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula, Kerr). New Zealand Journal of Ecology 5, 36–43.

Morgan, D. R. , Morriss, G. A. , and Hickling, G. J. (1996). Induced 1080 bait-shyness in captive brushtail possums and implications for management. Wildlife Research 23, 207–211.
CrossRef |

Morris K., Orell P., and Brazell R. (1995). The effect of fox control on native mammals in the jarrah forest, Western Australia. In ‘Proceedings of the 10th Australian Vertebrate Pest Control Conference, Hobart’. pp. 177–181.

Murray, A. J. , and Poore, R. N. (2004). Potential impact of aerial baiting for wild dogs on a population of spotted-tailed quolls (Dasyurus maculatus). Wildlife Research 31, 639–644.
CrossRef |

O’Connor C., Morriss G., and Murphy E. (2005). Toxic bait avoidance by mice. In ‘Proceedings of the 13th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference’. pp. 102–105. (Landcare Research: Lincoln, New Zealand.)

Ozawa, H. , and Tsukioka, T. (1989). Determination of sodium monofluoroacetate in soil and biological samples as the dichloroanilide derivative. Journal of Chromatography 473, 251–259.
CrossRef |

Sinclair, R. G. , and Bird, P. L. (1984). The reaction of Sminthopsis crassicaudata to meat baits containing 1080: implications for assessing risk to non-target species. Australian Wildlife Research 11, 501–507.
CrossRef |

Twigg, L. E. , Lowe, T. J. , Kirkpatrick, W. E. , and Martin, G. R. (2003). Tissue residue levels in rabbits and rats poisoned with 1080 One-shot bait and the location of poisoned rabbit carcasses. Wildlife Research 30, 621–631.
CrossRef |

Rent Article (via Deepdyve) Export Citation Cited By (9)