Action Details

Bait stations

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Facts

  • Toxic baiting in bait stations (feeders) will achieve high possum kills providing station spacing is sufficient and the station design ensures well-protected bait.
  • Based on possum home ranges, station spacing should be a maximum of 150 m in forest and 50 m on bush/pasture margins.
  • Pre-feeding is a prerequisite for achieving high kills.
  • Bait stations are particularly suited to use in areas of high rainfall and in areas with at-risk ground-dwelling non-target species.

Supplementary Information

  • Bait stations come in a wide range of designs and sizes and levels of bait protection.

 

  • Flowerpots   and KK bait stations                  provide low-cost, compact and light-weight options.

 

  • Larger baits stations include the Kilmore                                                         and Philproof.      

 

  • Hockey stick designs, such as the Indac, are also available and this design can easily be made using plastic drainage pipes.
  • Bait stations are attached to trees or fence posts at approximately 2030 cm above ground level.  Where ground birds are present, stations must be at least 70 cm above ground level; and where stock are present, placed above their reach.
  • Elevation of bait stations of 70 cm or greater appears to reduce possum kill rates and in such situations stations should always be pre-fed.
  • Most bait-station models aim to keep the bait (cereal and cyanide paste) dry and contained, until taken by either possums or rodents. Some models (e.g. Philproof) are designed to exclude birds.
  • Pre-feeding bait stations is likely to increase the kill achieved, but this is dependent on the bait used; it does not appear to enhance the kill achieved when baiting with brodifacoum.  Pre-feeding reduces the time toxic bait needs to be present to achieve target kills.
  • Strategies of use of toxic baits in bait stations include continuous feeding (over several weeks) or pulsed feeding (several feeds over several months). Both strategies provide for extended control. Some long-life gel baits are now available from Kiwicare that provide ongoing control for many months.
  • Small cereal baits (12 g) are favoured by most operators when using traditional bait stations, as their use reduces spillage by possums during feeding.
  • Some farmers use bait stations to attract possums to a specific site where access is easy and where the possums can easily be shot using a rifle and spotlight.
  • Bait station costs are extremely variable, and depend on the model sought.