Study

Reducing the impact of a toxic invader by inducing taste aversion in an imperilled native reptile predator

  • Published source details Price-Rees S.J., Webb J.K. & Shine R. (2013) Reducing the impact of a toxic invader by inducing taste aversion in an imperilled native reptile predator. Animal Conservation, 16, 386-394.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use conditioned taste aversion to prevent carnivorous reptiles from eating toxic invasive cane toads

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Use conditioned taste aversion to prevent carnivorous reptiles from eating toxic invasive cane toads

    A replicated, controlled study in 2010–2011 in a site of mixed bushland and agriculture in Western Australia (Price‐Rees et al. 2013) found that northern bluetongue skinks Tiliqua scincoides intermedia subjected to conditioned taste aversion were more likely to survive contact with invasive cane toads Rhinella marina when given a high dose compared with a low dose treatment, but survival after a high dose was similar to those given no dose. Survival of skinks receiving a high dose taste aversion treatment was higher (9 of 9, 100% of skinks survived) than those receiving a low dose (4 of 8, 50% survived), but similar to those receiving no dose (12 of 15, 80% survived). The high dose induced vomiting in all skinks. Skinks were located by driving slowly in the morning and late afternoon along a 14 km stretch of road between September 2010 and April 2011. Those captured were fitted with radio transmitters. At the first appearance of cane toads (December 2010), skinks were randomly allocated to a taste aversion treatment (high dose: 1.2 mg/kg, 8 M LiCl; low dose: 0.8 mg/kg) or no treatment group and skinks caught after cane toad arrival were alternately allocated to either group. All skinks received cane-toad sausage baits (high dose: 9 skinks; low does: 8; no dose: 15 skinks) and were subsequently monitored for survival.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 19

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust