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The evaluation of alternative toxins to sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) for possum control

  • Author(s): Eason, Charles T.
  • et al.
Abstract

Possum control in New Zealand is dependent on the use of sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) and cyanide. Although 1080 is highly effective, its use is restricted to government staff. Cyanide is available for a wider group of licensed operators, but cyanide "shyness" reduces its effectiveness. An acute toxicity programme has been set up to identify non-anticoagulant toxins that could be used safely by farmers. Dose-ranging studies showed that possums are susceptible to cholecalciferol, calciferol, gliftor, alpha-chloralose, and nicotine, but not to bromethalin. As lethal doses for these toxins have been ascertained, which of them are likely to be cost-effective and safe alternatives to 1080 now needs to be established. Bait palatability and field studies will then be undertaken with the most promising candidates.

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