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The science behind the claim – 1080 is no threat to native wildlife populations

There have been many scientific studies which have considered the risks of 1080 poison on native wildlife populations, including 29 species of native birds, 7 species of native reptiles and amphibians and 44 species of native mammals (including carnivorous marsupials). All these studies have found that there is NO THREAT from 1080 poison to populations of these wildlife species.

In fact, the study by Kortner in 2007 found that some quolls were eating the 1080 baits designed for wild dogs and not dying. One female quoll, which was trapped and released, had evidence of eating six wild dog baits with no impact on her health.

Based on this finding and others, in 2008, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority Final Review Report and Regulatory Decision of Sodium Fluoroacetate concluded that although individual poisoning of non-target animals can occur, this does not adversely affect the overall population of the non-target wildlife – while still highly regulated, they allowed 1080 to continue to be used as a management tool for invasive species (and predator) control.

Below are 12 key studies (in alphabetical order, since 2000) which conclude that 1080 baiting for invasive predator control has not impacted on the native wildlife populations in the region where baiting was undertaken.

  • Allen B. L., Allen L. R., Engeman R. M., Leung L. K.-P. (2013) Intraguild relationships between sympatric predators exposed to lethal control: predator manipulation experiments. Frontiers in Zoology 10, 39.

This study showcases that 1080 had no impact on goanna populations

This study suggests prey populations are not negatively affected by wild dog control practices. These include ground dwelling birds, hopping mice, reptiles, frogs macropods.

These studies noted no impact on native quoll populations in the region.

This study found that bandicoots, brushtail possums and lyrebirds increased in activity against a background of diminishing fox activity, due to 1080 baiting.

This study found that long-nosed potoroos, southern brown bandicoots, common brushtail possums and ringtail possums all increased due to 1080 baiting of foxes in region.

This study noted no effects seen on native birds, goannas and kangaroos and suggests that the consumption of two NT meat baits (weighing approximately 500 g each) by a black kite (weighing on average just under 600 g) would be a physical impossibility as the birds would need to consume 82% of their body mass. Similarly, the consumption of five of these baits by a wedge-tailed eagle would be highly unlikely.

This study found that southern bush rats (Rattus fuscipes assimilis) and brown antechinus (Antechinus stuartii) were not significantly impacted by aerial baiting in Northern NSW.

This study found no impacts on populations of Australian Magpie, Brown Falcon (Falco berigora), Australian Kestrel (Falco cenchroides), Wedge-tailed Eagle, Pied Butcherbird (Cracticus nigrogularis), Grey Butcherbird (Cracticus torquatus), Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides), Little Raven (Corvus mellori) and Torresian Crow (Corvus orru) from aerial baiting with 1080 meat baits for feral pig control.

This study found that rock wallaby populations recovered due to 1080 baiting of foxes in WA. They were declared an endangered species prior to this baiting program being implemented.

This study noted no impact on native quoll populations in the region.

This study demonstrated that foxes can be reduced to, and maintained at, low abundances and that this has a generally positive effect on the occupancy by small native mammalian prey species – common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), long-nosed potoroo (Potorous tridactylus) and southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus).



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