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.
|Publication Title||Applied Animal Behaviour Science|
|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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