Determining the availability of individual, aerially deployed baits to wild dogs

Lead researcher: Malcolm Kennedy, Department of Agriculture and Food WA,  malcolm.kennedy@agric.wa.gov.au

The aim of this project was to increase the efficacy, and contribute to best practice, of aerial baiting for wild dogs in Australia’s northern rangelands by assessing the availability of individual, aerially deployed baits to wild dogs across several commonly baited landforms.

The objectives of the project were to:

  • determine the difference from point-of-release to point-of-rest for aerially deployed baits under standard baiting conditions;
  • compare on-ground availability of baits to wild dogs (and therefore wastage) between four landform types typically targeted in aerial baiting.

To address these objectives a pilot trial and a main experiment were conducted. The specific aims of the pilot trial were to:

  • test the effect on active radio-transmitters of being deployed from aircraft, in wild dog baits;
  • assess and compare the ‘drift’ of radio-transmitter and non-radio- transmitter baits from point-of-release to point-of-rest; and

The specific aim of the main experiment was to:

  • assess the availability (wastage) of aerially deployed baits across four commonly baited landforms

The outcomes of the project contribute to best practice for aerial baiting in two ways. First, it provides metrics on the drift of baits under standard baiting flight conditions which can provide pilots and bombardiers confidence when targeting baits. Second, it clearly demonstrates that in northern rangelands there is only a small amount of bait loss to inaccessible locations. Thus landholders and agencies can maximise cost efficiency of baiting and reduce risks to non-target species through using baiting rates that do not attempt to compensate for ‘wasted’ baits.

The following publication resulted from this project:

Kennedy MS, Rose K, Martin G (2014) Aerially deployed baits in the northern rangelands of Western Australia are available to wild dogs. Wildlife Research 40(8). https://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR13169

This project was funded under the Australian Pest Animal Research Program (APARP).
For more APARP projects, visit: www.pestsmart.org.au/australian-pest-animal-research-program/

Links
Author Australian Pest Animal Research Program (APARP)
Secondary Author Malcolm Kennedy
Year 2013
Volume 2011-12
Institution Department of Agriculture and Food WA
Control method Baiting