Journal article

Not such silly sausages: Evidence suggests northern quolls exhibit aversion to toads after training with toad sausages

Naomi Indigo, James Smith, Jonathan K Webb, Ben Phillips

AUSTRAL ECOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2018


The invasion of toxic cane toads (Rhinella marina) is a major threat to northern quolls (Dasyurus hallucatus) which are poisoned when they attack this novel prey item. Quolls are now endangered as a consequence of the toad invasion. Conditioned taste aversion can be used to train individual quolls to avoid toads, but we currently lack a training technique that can be used at a landscape scale to buffer entire populations from toad impact. Broad‐scale deployment requires a bait that can be used for training, but there is no guarantee that such a bait will ultimately elicit aversion to toads. Here, we test a manufactured bait – a ‘toad sausage’ – in a small captive trial, for its ability to el..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

Funding to undertake this research was provided by Australian Wildlife Conservancy supporters, the Australian Research Council through LP150100722 and FT160100198 to B.L.P. and J. Webb). Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (to N.I.), The Australian Wildlife Society - Wildlife Ecology Science Research Scholarship (to N.I.) and The Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship.