Does fox baiting threaten the spotted-tailed quoll, Dasyurus maculatus?

In Australia, baiting with 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) is widely used to reduce predation of native wildlife by the red fox. However, such control programs may place some native carnivores at risk, particularly the spotted-tailed quoll in eastern Australia. We measured the mortality in a total of 57 quolls fitted with mortality radio-transmitters during four experimental fox baitings with Foxoff® 1080 baits containing Rhodamine B in north-east New South Wales. In all experiments quolls visited bait stations regularly and removed a total of 20 baits. All but one of these baits was found in the vicinity of the bait station, indicating that quolls did not ingest baits. This was confirmed by the absence of Rhodamine B in the vibrissae of all quolls retrapped after baiting. The only quoll that may have died from a bait had eaten a cached bait some six weeks after baiting concluded. Thus, baiting did not threaten any of the quoll populations sampled. Therefore it appears that most restrictions imposed to protect spotted-tailed quolls during fox baiting are unnecessary as long as this bait type is used.

Author Körtner, G., Gresser, S. and Harden, B.
Year 2003
Secondary title Wildlife Research
Volume 30
Number 2
Pages 111-118
Control method 1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate)
Region NSW