Landcare Research and its collaborators are developing biological control for possums.
Biological control (immunocontraception) vaccines will reduce possum breeding. The vaccines target the egg coat around the possum egg. The possum egg is surrounded by a protein layer called the zona pellucida (ZP), which is made up of three different proteins, ZP1, ZP2 and ZP3. ZP proteins have been used to develop effective contraceptive vaccines for other species like pigs and horses. Vaccines will stop female possums producing eggs and/or interfere with the fertilisation of any eggs produced. That way, no or very few baby possums will be born, so possum numbers will decline as the adults die off and there are insufficient young to replace them. The biological control vaccine based on the egg proteins will be made into baits and fed to possums from bait stations.
|Control method||Biological Control|