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Title: Use of an ungulate-specific feed structure as a potential tool for controlling feral goats in Australian forest ecosystems
Contributor(s): Hunt, Rob J (author); Claridge, Andrew W (author); Fleming, Peter (author); Cunningham, Ross B (author); Russell, Benjamin G (author); Mills, Douglas J (author)
Publication Date: 2014
DOI: 10.1111/emr.12129
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Abstract: The feral Goat (Capra hircus) has successfully exploited a range of landscapes around the world with occurrences of overabundance resulting in significant damage to ecological values. In forested ecosystems in Australia, there are currently limited means to control the species when compared to the range of management techniques available for other pest animals. To redress this deficiency, we designed a feed structure combined with commercially available salt blocks to attract goats to set locations in a forested study area. Structures that exploited differences in the pedal morphology (foot size and shape) of native herbivores (kangaroos and wallabies) and ungulates (feral goats and deer) were found to be highly target-specific, with feral goats freely able to access salt blocks, whilst nontarget native species were effectively excluded. Other introduced ungulate species, Fallow Deer (Dama dama) and Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), successfully accessed salt blocks in feed structures but at a considerably lower rate than feral goats. The capacity to present a range of bait types within a target-specific feed structure, once matched with a humane toxicant, could provide land managers with an additional cost-effective lethal control tool for future management of feral ungulates, particularly goats.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Ecological Management & Restoration, 15(3), p. 231-238
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1442-7001
Field of Research (FOR): 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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