Alternatives to brodifacoum and 1080 for possum and rodent control—how and why?

The risks of vertebrate pesticides to non-target animals are determined by intrinsic susceptibility, the toxicokinetics of the compounds used, and the degree and frequency of exposure. Metabolism and persistence studies coupled with field surveys have provided us with an improved understanding of the toxicokinetics and non-target effects of different anticoagulants. This has enabled improved choice of tools for island versus mainland use in New Zealand, and has stimulated the development of low-residue tools. Brodifacoum is a potent second-generation rodenticide used worldwide for commensal rodent control, and has been widely used to eradicate rodents from islands. The risks associated with ‘one-off’ application of baits containing second-generation anticoagulants for rodent eradication on islands are considered to be outweighed by the potential benefits to their ecosystems. Possums are susceptible to bait containing brodifacoum, but not to first-generation anticoagulants, hence brodifacoum has been the only alternative to 1080 that effectively targets both possums and rodents. On the mainland, contamination of wildlife and game species and secondary poisoning of non-target species has been substantial where brodifacoum has been used repeatedly. We are extending the current range of low residue alternatives to reduce reliance on brodifacoum and sodium fluoroacetate (1080). Currently, suitable alternatives available include encapsulated cyanide Feratox® and cholecalciferol paste Feracol®. Other compounds being developed as alternatives include micro-encapsulated zinc phosphate and low dose cholecalciferol and coumatetralyl, or C+C.

Secondary titleNew Zealand Journal of Zoology
AuthorCharles Eason; Ray Henderson; Steve Hix; Duncan MacMorran; Aroha Miller; Elaine Murphy; James Ross; Shaun Ogilvie
InstitutionLincoln University
DepartmentDepartment of Ecology
ISBN/ISSNDOI: 10.1080/03014223.2010.482976
Control methodPoison / Toxin