Conditioned food aversion can be used to train animals to avoid select foods. Generally, aversive conditioning is best applied when animals first encounter a food item. However, almost by definition damage is inflicted to desirable plants very familiar to the culprit. We assessed the potential for training beaver to avoid a known preferred food. During a 5 day day treatment period beavers were offered only corn at 1600 hours. Six hours later, animals that had ingested corn were injected with 150 mg/kg lithium chloride (LiCl), with a control group receiving sodium chloride (NaCl). Alternate foods were then offered with corn to determine whether animals avoided corn when offered a choice. Animals that ingested corn were given an additional LiCl injection. Although beaver significantly reduced their corn consumption after they were treated with LiCl (P < 0.0001) they also generalized the induced illness to rodent blox (P < 0.0001). The combined effect was an overall reduction of food intake. There was no difference in the control group's intake of corn (P = 0.189) or rodent blox (P = 0.383) between the pre and post-treatment periods. We conclude aversive conditioning is probably not a feasible approach to reduce beaver foraging of preferred foods.
|Publisher||Wildlife Damage Management Conference Proceedings|
|Notes||This article was found at Digital Commons @ the University of Nebraska-Lincoln: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu|
|Cite this work||
Researchers should cite this work as follows: