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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Use conditioned taste aversion to prevent non-target species from entering traps Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Key messages

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  • One study evaluated the effects on mammals of using conditioned taste aversion to prevent non-target species from entering traps. This study was in the USA.

COMMUNITY RESPONSE (0 STUDIES)

POPULATION RESPONSE (0 STUDIES)

BEHAVIOUR (1 STUDY)

  • Behaviour change (1 study): A replicated, controlled study in the USA found that using bait laced with lithium chloride reduced the rate of entry of San Clemente Island foxes into traps set for feral cats.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

1 

A replicated, controlled study in 1992–1993 on an island in California, USA (Phillips & Winchell 2011) found that lacing bait with lithium chloride reduced the rate of entry of San Clemente Island foxes Urocyon littoralis clementae into traps for feral cats Felis catus. In the first year, fewer foxes were recaptured using lithium chloride bait in traps (at 200 mg dose/kg of fox - 9% recaught) than using unlaced bait (52% recaught). In the second year, fewer foxes were recaptured in traps using lithium chloride bait (3% recaught) than using unlaced bait (30% recaught). In sites where lithium chloride bait was used for 41 days and then switched to non-laced baits, recapture rates remained low for around 10 days after the switch, and then increased. Baits were placed in cage traps on a 146-km2 island. In 1992, two areas received lithium chloride baits (which induce gastrointestinal discomfort) and unlaced baits were used in three areas. In 1993, two areas received lithium chloride baits which were then switched to unlaced baits after 41 days and seven areas received unlaced baits throughout. Eight to 20 traps were used/area. Baits comprised 50 g of mixed cat food, tuna and raw hamburger, placed in traps from February through to July–August in 1992–1993.

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.