A review to assess if varying temperature affects the effectiveness of 1080 in controlling brushtail possums Trichosarus vulpecula in New Zealand

  • Published source details Veltman C.J. & Pinder D.N. (2001) Brushtail possum mortality and ambient temperatures following aerial poisoning using 1080. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 65, 476-481


The brushtail possums Trichosarus vulpecula native to Australia has been introduced to New Zealand where it is considered an invasive pest species. It has had devastating effects on some native fauna, predating heavily for example on endemic invertebrates and the eggs and nestlings of endemic birds, many of which are of high conservation concern. As such various measures have been undertaken to control possum numbers in New Zealand.

A review was undertaken to assess if varying temperature affects the effectiveness of 1080 in controlling brushtail possums Trichosarus vulpecula.

Laboratory studies show that the toxicity of sodium monoflouroacetate (1080) is greater at lower temperature. A review of 48 operations in New Zealand with aerial broadcast of cereal baits with 1080 showed that the brushtail possum kill rates were higher in winter and at southern latitudes. Field temperatures varied between 3.0 and 17.4ÂșC while the mortality varied between 60% and 100%. There were no significant relationships with size of area treated, toxin concentration or bait sowing rates.

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