STP817: Development of a Preferred Bait for Quelea Control

    Shumake, SA
    Research psychologist, biological technician, and research physiologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colo.

    Gaddis, SE
    Research psychologist, biological technician, and research physiologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colo.

    Garrison, MV
    Research psychologist, biological technician, and research physiologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colo.

    Pages: 9    Published: Jan 1983


    Abstract

    Three factors that could influence bait acceptance and palatability (seed size, hardness, and color) were evaluated on small groups of African red-billed quelea (Quelea quelea). The birds were first adapted to feeding on mixed grain from automatic two-choice preference testing devices that alternated positions of the standard and test baits every 5 min. Before testing, the birds were exposed to all levels or formulations of bait for 6 h per day for five days. Preference test data were obtained in four 6-h sessions by using relative consumption (percent preference for test bait) as the dependent measure. Particle sizes tested ranged from 0.3 to 1.8 mg/granule; 6.0 mg hulled proso millet was the standard. All quelea preferred standard whole seed to granules of millet. Ground millet flour, bentonite, and different moisture levels (8, 10, 14, or 16%) were used to achieve different bait pellet textures. This variable had an effect on preference at the lowest (8%) moisture level, indicating that soft, dry pellets are significantly rejected by quelea. Color preference data indicated that red or yellow-green colored millet seed was rejected when compared with the standard yellow millet; however, these effects were not within acceptable levels of statistical significance (P < 0.07). When light levels were reduced and the color-preference test replicated, significant (P < 0.01) preference changes were noted, suggesting that feeding behavior tended to be random with the color stimuli made less visible.

    Keywords:

    bait, bird, color, texture, particle size, preference test, Quelea quelea, Africa, millet, vertebrate pest control


    Paper ID: STP30175S

    Committee/Subcommittee: E35.17

    DOI: 10.1520/STP30175S


    CrossRef ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.