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Data are presented to show that the ingestion of sublethal quantities of toxic bait can modify rodents' subsequent acceptance of that and other baits by way of two separate mechanisms: a learned aversion to that specific toxicant-bait combination and a nonlearned aversion to novel foods in general. A test procedure is offered which provides separate measures of the degree of bait shyness produced by these two mechanisms and which also avoids confounding the results with the direct effect of toxicant flavor upon bait palatability.
vertebrate pest control, test methods, aversion, bait shyness, toxicants
Assistant professor, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.