Field trial to compare baiting efficacy of Eradicat® and Curiosity® baits

Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation, 2011

Threat abatement project (2010-11 component; ID: 1011-0879)

About the report

Baiting is recognised as the most effective method for controlling feral cats when there is no risk posed to non-target species. The preferred feral cat bait medium is similar to a chipolata sausage in appearance composed of kangaroo meat mince, chicken fat, and digest and flavour enhancers that are highly attractive to feral cats. There are two poison bait products intended for the management of feral cat populations in Australia. When the above bait medium is dosed with sodium monofluoroacetate (compound 1080), the bait product is known as Eradicat®. When the above bait medium is buffered to pH neutral-alkaline and dosed with para-aminopropiophenone (PAPP) it is known as Curiosity®.

A number of cafeteria pen trials have been conducted to test for differences in acceptability of the two bait mediums. Analysis of cats' preferences for the two bait mediums indicated a significant difference in their choice for bait mediums with 40 of the cats consuming Eradicat&reg. first. The Eradicat® bait was the most preferred while the Curiosity® bait was the least preferred. However, in 40% of the occasions when the Eradicat® bait was consumed first, cats then also chose to eat the Curiosity® bait. To test whether this difference is real or an artefact common to cafeteria trials, a trial is required under normal field conditions where bait consumption is assessed in the absence of choice.

The objective of this trial was to compare the efficacy of Eradicat® and Curiosity® baits in the field to see whether there was any significant difference in baiting efficacy between the two bait types during an operational baiting campaign. The trial was conducted in Cape Arid National Park (CANP) and in the adjoining Nuytsland Nature Reserve (NNR). Results from this trial are inconclusive with regard to differences in field acceptability of Eradicat® and Curiosity® baits.