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Fluoroacetate-bearing vegetation: Can it reduce the impact of exotic mammals on wildlife conservation?

Twigg, L. (2011) Fluoroacetate-bearing vegetation: Can it reduce the impact of exotic mammals on wildlife conservation? Pacific Conservation Biology, 17 (4). pp. 299-302.

Abstract

There is no doubt that fluoroacetate-bearing vegetation (also known as poison peas) has had a profound effect on the evolution and persistence of Western Australian biota. Most of these plants belong to the genus Gastrolobium, and most are found in the south-west corner of Western Australia (Gardner and Bennetts 1956; Aplin 1971; Twigg and King 1991). The toxic principle of these plants, fluoroacetate, is also manufactured synthetically as 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) for Australiawide control of vertebrate pests, such as rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus, foxes Vulpes vulpes, wild dogs Canis lupus familiaris and feral Pigs Sus scrofa (Twigg and King 1991). Because of their co-evolution with fluoroacetate-bearing vegetation, many native animals in Western Australia have developed varying levels of tolerance to this highly toxic compound. In contrast, introduced mammals are generally highly sensitive to fluoroacetate. Although it is not a prerequisite for safe and effective pest control programmes with 1080, the toxicity differential between native and introduced animals provides an additional "safety net"when using 1080 products in Western Australia.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Surrey Beatty & Sons
Copyright: © Surrey Beatty & Sons
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/9068
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