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Toxic bait and baiting strategies for feral cats

  • Author(s): Eason, Charles T.
  • Morgan, David R.
  • Clapperton, B. Kay
  • et al.
Abstract

To improve feral cat control we developed a dry pelleted toxic bait and evaluated the potential of lures. A polymer fish meal bait was preferred by cats from a range of bait types tested. L-alanine further increased bait acceptance by cats in pen trials and catnip may have the potential to increase field acceptance and target specificity. An oral LD90 of 0.38 mg/kg was established for sodium monofluoroacetate (1080) in feral cats voluntarily eating surface-loaded baits. Acute toxicity to cats of warfarin, cholecalciferol, and gliftor was tested. However, because the cat proved highly sensitive to 1080, we recommend its use at a dose of 2 mg per cat bait. In preliminary field trials of bait acceptance using non-toxic polymer bait (without flavours or attractants), marked with the plasma marker iophenoxic acid, 50% of 39 cats caught within 3 weeks of laying the baits were marked. Subsequently polymer bait, surface coated with 1080 was used in the successful eradication of feral cats from Matakohe Island (37 ha), Whangarei Harbour, New ZeaJand.

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