Sodium fluoroacetate, or 1080, is a commonly used vertebrate pesticide to control a range of pest animals in Australia, including wild dogs, feral pigs, European foxes and rabbits. One of the main advantages of 1080 is that it is highly toxic to targeted pest animals, meaning that pest animals do not need to ingest a large quantity of the toxin to receive a lethal dose. In addition to this, native animals have a high level of resistance to 1080, meaning that the quantities used in pest animal baiting activities is too low to be lethal.  

Despite this, however, actions can be undertaken to reduce the likelihood of any off-target impacts when 1080 baiting. Below, Glenn Proctor, a Biosecurity Officer with North Burnett Regional Council, provides several tips on what you can do at your next baiting program to reduce any off-target impacts.

  1. Know what bait material your targeted pest animal is eating

Depending upon what pest animal you are targeting, there are often a variety of bait materials that can be used, including seasonal fruit, vegetables, grain and meat. Because of this, knowing what bait material your targeted pest animal is eating can significantly increase the effectiveness of your 1080 baiting program and reduce the likelihood of any impacts to non-target animals.

A summary of the types of bait material that can be used with 1080 is provided below.

Pest animalBait material
Feral pigMeat
Local seasonal fruits and vegetables
Wild dogMeat
Feral catMeat
  1. Free feeding

Free feeding is probably the easiest activity that you can undertake to increase the effectiveness of your 1080 baiting program. Free feeding is the process of placing a quantity of un-poisoned bait in a central location so that the targeted pest animals become accustomed to the bait material. 

Daily monitoring of your free feeding site is extremely important to ensure an effective baiting program. The main reason for this is that normally the dominate male in the targeted population will always eat first, restricting any other members of the pack/mob to feed. To manage this, continually top up the free feeding site with a greater quantity of bait material after each night on activity, until a little bit of material is left over. When this happen, you know that all members are eating from the site. 

For more tips of free feeding see Mark Lamb’s and Jim Mitchell’s tips.

  1. Tying 1080 baits

Tying 1080 baits is another good activity that can reduce the risk of any off-target impacts during your baiting program. By tying baits, it makes it difficult for any targeted pest animal to move the 1080 bait from the baiting site. This reduces bait accessibility to other non-target animals significantly. 

Tying baits also helps you to monitor the effectiveness of your 1080 baiting program, as well as making it easier for bait collection and disposal after the 1080 baiting program.. 

The easiest way of tying baits is by placing one end of a piece of wire through the middle of the meat bait and tying it back onto its self. The other end of the wire is then tied to a heavy object that cannot be moved by the target animal (i.e. a fallen tree or fence post). 

  1. Burying baits

Burying 1080 baits is another commonly used method to reduce off-target impacts. Most pest animals have an extraordinary sense of smell, and can still easily find the bait. 

If you would like to be involved in your local government’s free 1080 baiting program, please call your local government’s biosecurity team for further information. 

Additional resources

This website has been developed through funding by the Queensland Government as part of the Better Partnership Project.

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