Aerial Baiting with 1080

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Aerial Baiting with 1080
From: Anthony Overs <>
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 10:00:00 +1000
Hi everyone

Some additional info about 1080 poisoning.

Dr Penny Olsen from ANU  is probably the best person
to talk to about raptors and poisoning.
Here is most of the blurb from her book Australian Birds of Prey:

... Occasionally, large numbers of raptors become unintentional victims of
meat baits laced with 1080 left out for foxes, dingoes or pigs. Raptors have
a relatively high tolerance to 1080: LD50 (the dose which kills on average
half of a sample population to which it is fed) for Wedge-tailed Eagles is
9.5 mg per kg and for Black Kites 18.5 mg per kg. To be killed Black Kites
must eat about 13.7 per cent of their body weight in bait (compared with <2
per cent for dogs), dependent on the application dose rate. Nevertheless,
Black Kites and Wedge-tailed Eagles have been killed during poisoning
campaigns. Poisoned individuals may take several days to die or if they
recover they are often unwell and vulnerable to predation during this
time...... There have been no studies on the effect of poisoning campaigns
on raptor populations, but it can be assumed that laying baits at night, or
burying them, reduces the risk to raptors.

Other fauna groups:

After a quick discussion with some guys in the office here in Queanbeyan I
have found some details on studies conducted on Spotted-tailed or Tiger
Quolls (Dasyuris maculatus) in the south-east of Australia. Andy Murray from
NRE in Orbost completed this study and found that many quolls retrapped had
taken baits. Instead of laying poison baits they laid baits with a
bio-marker. Native animals are somewhat tolerant to 1080 compared to dogs or
foxes, but poison accumulation does lead to deaths. Sixty per cent of the
sampled quoll population were able to locate and consume an
aerially-deployed meat bait in a single baiting operation which suggests
that aerial baiting at that intensity used during this trial may pose a
serious risk to quoll populations. There is a population of Tiger Quolls on
the central Queensland coast and could be subjected to poisoning campaigns.

The reference for the above study is:
Murray, A.J., Belcher, C.A., Poore, R.N. and Darrant, J. (2000) The ability
of Spotted-tailed Quolls to locate and consume meat baits deployed during a
simulated aerial baiting program. Prepared for the Australian Alps Liaison
Committee and the NSW NPWS. east Gippsland Flora and Fauna Group Report No.

Goannas have been described as the 'garbage-guts' of the Australian reptile
fauna and may consume baits. What is the impact on species like this??

Hope this information is of some value.


From: Syd Curtis
Cc: b-a
Subject: Aerial Baiting with 1080
Date: Thursday, 27 April 2000 11:13PM

Hi Frank,

    Your very interesting account of the use of 1080 in W A included -

> It has an extremely low effect on native species because 1080 is a
> occuring compund in a number of south west plants, so native animals
> reptiles, and I believe birds) have developed tolerances 30 to 100s of
> higher than the lethal dose for a fox.
> It was succesfully used at Shark Bay to eradicate foxes from the Peron
> Peninsula, and to reduce cat numbers.  I don't know if it was used to
> goats.
> However, I thought that it had been banned for use in Victoria??  Native
>animals there do not have the natural immunity to 1080.  So I was surprised
>hear that it was being considered for use in Queensland.  Unless of course
>occurs naturally in the local plants.

Yes, there is a native 1080 plant at least in some of the drier parts of
Queensland. Selwyn Everist was for many years Government Botanist in
Queensland, and he wrote the definitive book on Poisonous Plants of
Australia - runs to 966 pages.  I use it as my authority:

It is the genus Gastrolobium that produces monofluoroacetic acid - 1080.
Twenty-seven species are known or suspected to be poisonous and all except
one are confined to south-west Western Australia.  G. bilobum is the
Heart-leaf Poison of Western Australia.  In Queensland we call G.
grandiflorum Heart-leaf Poison while in WA (it occurs from the Hammersley
Range throught NT to Qld) you call it Wallflower Poison.  Selwyn says "It is
highly toxic to goats."

Years ago (pre-1975) Selwyn suggested Gastrolobium to me (I was then in
National Park administration) as a way of getting rid of goats on our coral
cay  national parks:  fence in a small plot and grow this particular plant,
then when there was a good growth but before the plants could produce seed,
take down the fence.  Selwyn reckoned this was the only poison plant he knew
that goats would eat.  The goats wold clean up the Gastrolobium and the
Gastrolobium would clean up the goats.  Neat idea!  But instead we shot the
goats ... at least we did until that great conservationist Premier Joh got
to hear of it and put a total ban on shooting these fine animals on any
National Park!  Took years to get that edict reversed

It was generally held around the ridges that in researching for his book
Selwyn would try very small quantities of the plants on himself to find out
the effects - but that Gastrolobium was the one exception that he did not
try.  The latter part at least, I'm sure was right.



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