Mike Lohr of Edith Cowan University, will be collecting fox and cat livers to test for ARs which is a specific type of rat poison, commonly used in Australia. Some ARs can remain in liver tissue for a long time and can build up to lethal levels in wildlife species that eat poisoned rats and mice.
Mr Lohr has already detected ARs in dead Boobooks (owls) picked up in WA, particularly around the Perth Metro area. He is interested in learning how common they are in the Wheatbelt wildlife and what species are affected.
The fox cull provides a great opportunity to gather a large number of samples in a carnivore, which need to be removed, and may provide an idea of whether native species in this area might be affected as well. It also offers a rare opportunity to test animals which are alive. This will provide an overview of the level of exposure occurring in animals which are presumably healthy, but may have been exposed to doses too low to be lethal.
The GPS points associated with each fox allows us to measure how far the rat poison might be moving from sources around homes, grain storage, machinery sheds, etc. and which areas are more exposed. The dissection process should be pretty simple - removing the liver from each fox or cat, bagging it up and storing it in an esky until it is taken to Perth for storage in ECU freezer rooms. Each animal, will have a record of information including, origin, sex, and any obvious disease.
Registrations for the fox shoot are still open! Please complete the below form and return to Claudia at the Dumbleyung Landcare Office as soon as possible.
Article provided by C.Hadlow