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Call to Use Coconut-Based Baits for Feral Pigs

by 5m Editor
8 November 2011, at 9:06am

AUSTRALIA - Queensland researchers say coconuts should be used as baits to control feral pigs in the state's north.

According to ABC News, feral pigs are considered one of the biggest threats to native species and vegetation in rainforests from Cardwell to the Daintree.

Andrew Bengsen, from the Invasive Animals Research Centre at the University of Queensland, says pigs in the north have different tastes to their southern counterparts.

He says baits made on meat or grains are not working and coconuts and bananas should be used instead.

"It's just something that's familiar to them, so they know the smell and they associate the smell and they associate the smell with food, whereas the baits we were using, they were completely unfamiliar," he said.

"They looked foreign, they smelt different to probably most things that they were accustomed to eating.

"We've looked at using some corn mixed with coconut meal because pigs in the area often eat coconuts growing wild on the seashore and it's quite attractive to pigs.

"It's very smelly and we can make that inaccessible to a lot of other non-target species just by putting it underneath a plastic box."

The findings of the two-year study have been published in the international journal Wildlife Research.