Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Control of small mammal pests

Image - D Robson This programme has three research aims, with the first and largest focussing on the cost-effective management of rabbits. Because of the waning effectiveness of RHD, many farmers are now spending considerable sums of money aerially applying 1080 or pindone poison. Our research is testing a range of sowing applications that could reduce the cost and the amount of toxin applied per hectare by more than 50%. The second research aim is focussed on determining the extent to which anticoagulant residues are being accumulated by harrier hawks (as an indicator of anticoagulant “leakage” into the environment), and more specifically gaining a better understanding of the residue profile of pindone poison in rabbits. The third aim is focussed on determining whether genetic resistance to anticoagulants has developed in any rat populations in New Zealand as it has overseas. 


  • Nugent G, Twigg LE, Warburton B, McGlinchy A, Fisher P, Gormley AM, Parkes JP 2012. Why 0.02%? A review of the basis for current practice in aerial 1080 baiting for rabbits in New Zealand. Wildlife Research 39(2): 89-103. <Go to ISI>://WOS:000302323100001
  • Nugent G, Warburton B, Thomson C, Cross ML, Coleman MC 2012. Bait aggregation to reduce cost and toxin use in aerial 1080 baiting of small mammal pests in New Zealand. Pest management science 68(10): 1374-1379.
  • Nugent G, Warburton B, Thomson C, Sweetapple P, Ruscoe WA 2011. Effect of prefeeding, sowing rate and sowing pattern on efficacy of aerial 1080 poisoning of small-mammal pests in New Zealand. Wildlife Research 38(3): 249-259. <Go to ISI>://WOS:000292686300009
  • Zheng T, Parkes JP 2011. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease: Advantages of cELISA in assessing immunity in wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Veterinary Microbiology 153(3-4): 387-392. <Go to ISI>://CCC:000296940000024
  • Parkes JP, Glentworth B, Sullivan G 2008. Changes in immunity to rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus, and in abundance and rates of increase of wild rabbits in Mackenzie Basin, New Zealand. Wildlife Research 35(8): 775-779.
  • Williams CK, Davey CC, Moore LA, Hinds A, Silvers LE, Kerr PJ, French N, Hood GM, Pech RP, Krebs CJ 2007. Population responses to sterility imposed on female European rabbits. Journal of applied ecology 44(2): 291-301.
  • Payton I, Frampton C 2004. Possums damage pine plantations. Kararehe kino : vertebrate pest research 3: 7-8.
  • Reddiex B, Hickling GJ, Norbury GL, Frampton CM 2002. Effects of predation and rabbit haemorrhagic disease on population dynamics of rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in North Canterbury, New Zealand. Wildlife research 29(6): 627-633.
  • Zheng T, Napier AM, Parkes JP, O'Keefe JS, Atkinson PH 2002. Detection of RNA of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus from New Zealand wild rabbits. Wildlife research 29(6): 683-688.
  • King DR, Robinson MH, Eason CT, Batcheler D 1998. Iophenoxic acid as a biomarker for rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Wildlife research 25(1): 65-68.
  • Wilkinson R, Fitzgerald G 1998. Public issues in the biological control of rabbits in New Zealand. In: Burch D, Lawrence G, Rickson RE, Goss J ed. Australasian food and farming in a globalised economy : recent developments and future prospects. 50 ed. Monash publications in geography. 9. Melbourne, Department of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University. Pp. 113-124.
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