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An experimental test of the toxicity of cereal pellets containing brodifacoum to the snails of Henderson Island, South Pacific

AuthorsBrooke, M. de L.; Cuthbert, Richard; Mateo, Rafael ; Taggart, Mark A.
Issue Date2011
PublisherCSIRO Publishing
CitationWildlife Research 38(1): 34-38 (2011)
Abstract[Context]: Cereal pellets containing the anti-coagulant poison brodifacoum at 20ppm are routinely used to rid islands of invasive rodents. The impact, if any, of the poison on invertebrates is not well understood. This is problematic because many of the islands targeted for treatment harbour endemic invertebrate species, including snails where available information about brodifacoum impact is equivocal. [Aims]: Combining field tests and subsequent laboratory analysis, the present study investigated the effect of brodifacoum on the snails of Henderson Island, South Pacific. [Methods]: In the field, we housed snails in plastic boxes for up to 10 days to compare the survival of those kept with and without access to brodifacoum cereal pellets. Subsequently, we analysed brodifacoum levels in those kept with access to poisoned pellets, according to whether they survived or died. [Key results]: There were no detectable differences in the survival between the captive snails kept with and those kept without access to brodifacoum. Among those with access, there were no significant differences in brodifacoum concentrations between the minority that died and the majority that survived. In fact, brodifacoum was detected in only a few samples. [Conclusions]: Brodifacoum appears not to pose a risk to the snails of Henderson Island. [Implications]: Although it would be prudent to test the impact of brodifacoum on the resident snails before proceeding with a rodent eradication on other islands, we suspect the Henderson results can be extended to other sites.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1071/WR10132
issn: 1035-3712
e-issn: 1448-5494
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Artículos
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