Professional resource and wildlife managers face a widening array of issues in their day to day work; prominent among these is the management and control of vertebrate pest populations and their impacts on conservation and agricultural values. The regulated use of poison baits is currently a common method of control for significant pest species such as the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Assessments of the effectiveness of poison baiting to control pests and the potential impact on non-target species are important to ensure that poison baiting continues to be used wisely, to maximum effect and to safeguard its use as an acceptable and effective means of pest control in the future. Those responsible for implementing poison baiting operations are often in the best position to assess the effectiveness of their efforts in reducing pest populations, and any effects of the operation on non-target animals. Generally, this is a task easier said than done. The many variables present in field situations, the scale of the assessment that is required and the resources required often hamper accurate and ongoing monitoring. A relatively simple technique utilising the non-toxic dye Rhodamine B (RB) as a bait marker used in non-toxic baits has been developed by the Vertebrate Pest Research Department of the Victorian Institute of Animal Science. The technique was developed with the intention of providing an additional tool for the field assessment of poison baiting. It is hoped that the technique will prove accessible and practical to staff working in various capacities, and that it will encourage increased scrutiny and an increase in formal evaluations of actual field poisoning operations. It is important that anyone intending to use the RB bait marker acquire a sound understanding of how the technique works and what constitutes an appropriate application of the technique. This manual contains some rationale for research, guidelines and detailed safety procedures for handling RB. It is intended for use in conjunction with a formal training course and hands-on practice before the bait marker is used.
|Secondary title||Vertebrate Pest Research Department, Report Series No. 4|
|Publisher||Department of Natural Resources and Environment|