Evaluation of baits and baiting techniques for Belding's ground squirrels Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8s45qc791

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  • Quantitative data concerning bait preference and bait application were collected for Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi) during February-July 1975. Bait materials tested for preference were crimped oats, oatgroats, whole wheat, barley, rolled wheat, rye, chopped lettuce, chopped apple, oatgroats + Rhodamine B dye, oatgroats + starch paste, oatgroats + Rhoplex AC-33, and oatgroats + green food dye. Significant differences occurred in amounts of different types of bait consumed (P < 0.001) and in amounts of bait consumed seasonally (P < 0.001). All bait materials were consumed in greatest amounts after young-of-the-year became active and ground squirrel numbers were near the annual maximum. The ground squirrels consumed larger amounts of succulent bait than grain baits during a 2-month period after emergence from hibernation. Oatgroats were consumed in significantly (P < 0.05) greater quantities than whole wheat, barley, rolled wheat, or rye. Consumption of crimped oats varied more than any other bait material. Additives (Rhoplex AC-33, starch paste, and green food dye) used in commercially prepared grain baits did not significantly (P > 0. 10) affect amounts of oatgroats consumed. Amounts of bait applied had more affect than placement of bait in determining proportions of ground squirrels consuming oatgroats stained with Rhodamine B dye. No significant differences (P > 0.25) occurred in proportions of adult male and female ground squirrels marked with stained bait. Differences in proportions of juvenile and adult ground squirrels consuming stained bait were not statistically significant (Z = 0.31). Proportions of Belding's ground squirrels consuming stained bait were greatest in February, March, June, and July, but declined in April and May. Marking of ground squirrels consuming stained bait decreased from 68 percent within a treated plot to 0 percent within 40 m beyond the same plot. Non-target species of rodents readily consumed stained oatgroats applied for Belding's ground squirrels, regardless of amount or method of application. Broadcasting of bait provided the most economical means of applying bait. Recommendations are presented concerning type and application of bait materials used to control depredations by Belding's ground squirrels.
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