Assessing the efficacy of chlorophacinone for mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa) control
The mountain beaver is a fossorial rodent species endemic to the Pacific Northwest and portions of California. This herbivore is managed as a pest species because of the impact it has on newly planted Douglas-fir seedlings. Currently, managers are limited to trapping for population control; however, in Washington trapping has been further curtailed by anti-trapping legislation. Presently there are no registered underground toxicants for mountain beaver control. We have documented the efficacy of chlorophacinone, presented in daily doses, as a possible alternative for mountain beaver control. Daily baiting would be unreasonable and costly alternative for timber managers, so we conducted a series of tests to determine if a single or double baiting was efficacious. In addition, we tested the caching behavior of the mountain beaver when offered bags of oats. This behavior may help reduce impacts to non-target species as well reduce environmental exposure and degradation. Mountain beaver readily cached bags of chlorophacinone within their artificial burrows, and efficacy of a one-time and two-time dose was 100%. We determined that even with the highest chlorophacinone residuals (0.354 ppm) that the risk quotient for mink and red-tailed hawk was exactly at the level of concern that EPA recognizes for endangered and threatened species.