Increasing the target-specificity of ERADICAT for feral cat (Felis catus) control by encapsulating a toxicant

C.A. Hetherington, D. Algar, Harriet Mills, Roberta Bencini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

ERADICAT (R), a sausage-type meat bait, has been developed for use in managing feral cat (Felis catus) populations throughout Western Australia. However, concern about potential exposure of non-target species to bait-delivered toxicants has led to the development of a technique to more specifically target feral cats using a pellet. Research into the consumption, by cats and native animals, of toxic pellets implanted within the ERADICAT (R) bait has been simulated using ball bearings as a substitute pellet. Results from our work indicate that encapsulating the toxicant may pose less risk of poisoning to chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii), woylies (Bettongia pencillata) and southern brown bandicoots (Isoodon obesulus) as they consumed significantly fewer ball bearings (P = 0.003, < 0.001, < 0.001) than semi-feral cats (P = 0.07). Theoretically, a toxic pellet will not reduce the effectiveness of the ERADICAT (R) bait as there was no significant difference between consumption of baits and the consumption of ball bearings in feral cats (P = 0.07). Therefore, baits containing a toxic pellet have the potential to be a more selective method to control feral cats.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-471
JournalWildlife Research
Volume34
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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