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University of Sydney (2005)

Factors Affecting The Efficiency Of Fox (Vulpes Vulpes) Baiting Practices On The Central Tablelands Of New South Wales

Gentle, Matthew Nikolai

Titre : Factors Affecting The Efficiency Of Fox (Vulpes Vulpes) Baiting Practices On The Central Tablelands Of New South Wales

Auteur : Gentle, Matthew Nikolai

Université de soutenance : University of Sydney

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2005

Résumé partiel
The European red fox (Vulpes vulpes L.) is a well known predator of native species and domestic stock, and is recognised as one of Australia’s most devastating vertebrate pests. Current fox management relies heavily on poisoning using baits impregnated with sodium monofluoroacetate (1080). This reliance on 1080 is likely to continue given the lack of viable alternatives for controlling foxes, so that, in the meanwhile, it is important to improve the efficiency of the current techniques. Factors affecting the susceptibility of individual foxes to bait include their ability to locate it, as well as the bait’s palatability and toxicity. The economic costs associated with using different bait types, the pattern and density of their distribution will also affect the efficiency of control programs. It is essential to examine and refine all such issues to ensure efficient use of the 1080 baiting technique. This thesis focuses generally on problems associated with management of the fox in eastern Australia. More specifically, I investigate the factors affecting the efficiency of fox baiting practices on the central tablelands of New South Wales. The study was conducted largely on agricultural lands near the town of Molong (33010’ 37”S, 148087’15”E) on the central tablelands of New South Wales. This area was chosen as it is broadly representative, in terms of land use, of a large region of eastern Australia. The highly modified, predominantly agricultural landscapes near Molong are well suited to foxes, and conflict with the predominantly pastoral community means that fox management is widely undertaken. I determined the persistence of 1080 in two commonly used bait types, Foxoff® and chicken wingettes, under different climatic and rainfall conditions. The rate of 1080 degradation did not change significantly between the central tablelands and the relatively hotter and drier western slopes. Foxoff® baits remained lethal for longer than wingettes under all conditions, although their rate of degradation generally increased with increasing rainfall. I confirmed the presence of defluorinating micro-organisms in thesoils of eastern Australia for the first time, and suggest that, following removal from the bait, 1080 would not persist in the environment for long

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