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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cost Effectiveness and Efficacy of Ground-Control Techniques for Pest-Control in New Zealand

  • Author(s): Ross, James G.
  • Eason, Charles T.
  • Ogilvie, Shaun C.
  • et al.

The brushtail possum, introduced to New Zealand in 1858, is a significant conservation pest and a major vector of bovine tuberculosis. Previous control-simulation studies have suggested that aerial delivery of bait containing sodium fluoroacetate (1080) is the most cost effective (large scale) possum control strategy. Over the past decade, considerable improvements in groundcontrol techniques have been developed by private contractors and bait manufacturers. These techniques are not reliant on 1080, and there have been major cost reductions as the new baits and delivery mechanisms have been optimized. In addition to this, our research team (in collaboration with Connovation Research Ltd.) have recently developed a new bait station design that has the potential to be left out in the field for up to 5 years without the need for servicing. These devices are self setting and have the ability to deliver gel or liquid spray, and ‘target-specific’ toxicants. Preliminary cost analysis suggests that this new bait station design has the potential to save NZ$21 million per annum from the amount currently spent on possum ground control.

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