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Threshold concentrations of an anthraquinone-based repellent for Canada geese, red-winged blackbirds, and ring-necked pheasants

By S. J. Werner, J. C. Carlson, S. K. Tupper, M. M. Santer, G. M. Linz

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Abstract

Wildlife repellents provide a non-lethal alternative for managing the monetary impacts of agricultural depredation. For the purpose of developing of an effective avian repellent, we established repellency thresholds of an anthraquinone-based repellent for Canada geese (Branta canadensis), red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), and ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) in captivity. We conducted a concentration-response experiment with Canada geese offered corn seeds treated with six concentrations of AvipelReg. repellent (a.i. 50% 9,10-anthraquinone). Based upon our laboratory efficacy data, we used non-linear regression to predict a threshold concentration of 1450 ppm anthraquinone for geese offered treated corn seeds (i.e., 80% repellency; r2=0.85, P=0.009). We also observed a positive concentration-response relationship among red-winged blackbirds offered AvipelReg.-treated rice (r2=0.70, P=0.039) and sunflower seeds (r2=0.84, P=0.010). We predicted a threshold concentration of 1475 ppm anthraquinone for blackbirds offered treated sunflower seeds. Blackbirds also reliably discriminated between untreated food and rice treated with 2325 ppm anthraquinone (F1,10=3414.05, P<0.0001) or sunflower treated with 1778 ppm anthraquinone (F1,10=175.39, P<0.0001). We observed a positive concentration-response relationship among ring-necked pheasants offered corn (r2=0.95, P=0.001) and sunflower seeds (r2=0.99, P<0.001) treated with AvipelReg.. We predicted a threshold concentration of 10,450 ppm anthraquinone for pheasants offered treated corn seeds. Pheasants also reliably discriminated between untreated food and corn treated with 1900 ppm anthraquinone (F1,10=919.86, P<0.0001) or hulled sunflower treated with 1140 ppm anthraquinone (F1,10=177.35, P<0.0001). AvipelReg. seed treatments effectively conditioned avoidance of treated seeds among Canada geese, red-winged blackbirds, and ring-necked pheasants. Our laboratory efficacy data provide a reliable basis for planning future field applications of anthraquinone-based bird repellents for protection of agricultural crops, property, and related natural resources. Supplemental field efficacy studies are necessary for registration of anthraquinone-based repellents for managing agricultural depredation caused by wild birds.

Date 2009
Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 121
Issue 3/4
Pages 190-196
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2009.09.016
Language English
Author Address United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health, Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, 4101 LaPorte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521-2154, USA. Scott.J.Werner@aphis.usda.gov
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  3. Biological resources
  4. Birds
  5. Canada
  6. Commonwealth of Nations
  7. Corn
  8. Developed countries
  9. Domesticated birds
  10. Field crops
  11. Flowers
  12. Geese
  13. Grasses
  14. Maize
  15. North America
  16. OECD countries
  17. paddy
  18. peer-reviewed
  19. Plants
  20. Policy and Planning
  21. Poultry
  22. Protection
  23. registration
  24. repellency
  25. Repellents and Attractants
  26. Research
  27. rice
  28. seeds
  29. Studies
  30. United States of America
  31. Wild animals
  32. wildlife
  33. Zoology
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed