Common or European starlings are a significant introduced pest bird of agriculture in Australia that account for estimated production losses of at least $10 M per annum. The species is widespread in south-eastern Australia, and has been reported to inflict high levels of damage to viticulture, horticulture and livestock production industries, as well as being an environmental and social nuisance. Attempts to manage the economic impacts of starlings in Australia involve netting, scaring devices, shooting, and habitat manipulation. A lethal agent used in America and New Zealand, DRC-1339, is currently not registered in Australia. DRC-1339 (3-chloro-4-methylaniline hydrochloride), commercially known as Starlicide®, has been successfully used for over 35 years and is a particularly well studied invasive animal toxin. Pestat Ltd is currently reviewing the potential non-target impacts and relative susceptibility of DRC-1339 to Australian bird species, based on published data for similar overseas species. A multi-state and –industry feasibility study of the likely safety for use and market potential of DRC-1339 as an avicide in Australia is currently occurring. Field trials of non-toxic bait media and seasonal variability in bait take at three distinct climatic regions of Australia where starlings are a problem will shortly commence. This is a recently funded work in progress, and as such only the pilot study design will be presented in this paper.
|Author||Lapidge, S., Dall, D., Dawes, J., Tracey, J., Sinclair, R. and Woolnough, A.|
|Secondary title||13th Vertebrate Pest Conference|
|Place published||Wellington, NZ|
|Control method||Poison / Toxin|
|Region||Australia - national|