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Type: Journal article
Title: Dying to be clean: pen trials of novel cat and fox control devices
Author: Read, J.
Gigliotti, F.
Darby, S.
Lapidge, S.
Citation: International Journal of Pest Management, 2014; 60(3):166-172
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0967-0874
Statement of
John Read, Frank Gigliotti, Sue Darby and Steven Lapidge
Abstract: Predation by feral cats (Felis catus) and red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are key threatening processes for many endangered wildlife species. Toxin delivery through compulsive oral grooming is a potential mechanism to supplement existing control techniques for feral cats and red foxes, particularly when high prey densities reduce the uptake of toxic food baits by cats. We investigated the efficacy of different grooming traps by applying a gel containing toxic para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) to the fur of feral cats and red foxes in experimental pens. Grooming behaviour and signs of poisoning in these animals were recorded by video. More cats interacted with “walk past” grooming traps triggered by sensor beams than with trap models that required the cat to enter a pipe or baited cage. After triggering a trap that had applied PAPP gel to their fur, 14 of 16 feral cats showed symptoms of anoxia, and 8 of these cats were dead by the following morning without exhibiting signs of distress. Seven of 12 foxes were observed to groom fur to which toxic gel had been applied and 3 of these ingested a lethal quantity of PAPP as a result. Our successful proof-of-concept trials support further development of grooming trap sensors and toxin delivery mechanisms to provide humane and targeted feral cat control, although this technique is unlikely to be as successful for fox control, given that foxes appear to not groom as fastidiously as cats.
Keywords: feline control; Felis catus; grooming trap; lethal control; PAPP; red fox; Vulpes vulpes; wildlife management
Description: Published online: 17 Sep 2014
Rights: © 2014 Taylor & Francis
DOI: 10.1080/09670874.2014.951100
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 7
Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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