Feeding responses to predator-based repellents in the mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa)

  • Published source details Epple G., Mason J.R., Aronov E., Nolte D.L., Hartz R.A., Kaloostian R., Campbell D. & Smith A.B. (1995) Feeding responses to predator-based repellents in the mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa). Ecological Applications, 5, 1163-1170.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use predator scent to deter crop damage by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use predator scent to deter crop damage by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study (year not stated) on captive animals from Washington State, USA (Epple et al. 1995) found that coyote Canis latrans urine was more effective at deterring food consumption by mountain beavers Aplodontia rufa than were four synthetic compounds. In two-choice feeding trials, the quantity of coyote urine-soaked food removed by male beavers (7 g) was lower than that of water-soaked food removed (14 g). The same pattern held for females (coyote urine: 1 g; water: 7 g). A3-Isopentenyl methyl sulfide (IMS) did not affect food choice when compared to an untreated “blank” (IMS: 8–11 g; blank: 7 g), nor did 2,2-dimethylthietane (DMT) (DMT: 7–13 g; blank: 10–14 g). A mix of 2-propylthietane and 3-propyl-l,2-dithiolane (PT/PDT) reduced food retrieval (PT/PDT: 14 g; blank: 18 g) but the response was not apparent during longer (5 day) exposure (PT/PDT: 31 g; blank: 35 g). Twelve wild-caught mountain beavers (six male and six female) were held in captivity for several months prior to the experiment. Trials were run as choice tests between bowls 25 cm apart. Food remaining after one or two hours was weighed. Each beaver was used twice for each choice experiment.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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