Do all Possums Show the Same Aversions towards Genetically Resistant Seedling Stock?

Dr. Natasha Wiggins, CRC for Forestry, University of Tasmania
Strategic Plan Areas
Repellents and Deterrents

Funding Source
Grant Round 1

Funding
Grant: $33,187

Background
The use of naturally enhanced resistant stock is a promising strategy for reducing palatability of seedlings prior to planting, however, it is vital that tree growers are confident that this resistance holds up regardless of the geographic location of plantations.

This project aimed to investigate whether browser aversion for genetically resistant seedling stock is consistent state-wide, or whether different populations of browsers show different preferences depending on whether they have coevolved with particular populations of eucalypts.

This six month project examined the seedling preferences of two populations of possums that have evolved with two eucalypt populations that are of genetic extremes in resistance.

The aim of the project was to give tree growers the knowledge they need to ensure that they are deploying resistant stock in the right areas, with the overall goal of providing a non-lethal alternative to 1080 for specific situations.

Papers
Wiggins N et al. Different possum populations show the same aversions for genetically resistant seedling stock. Poster presented at the 14th Australasian Vertebrate Pest Management Conference, Darwin, June 2008.

Wiggins N et al. (2008) Do all possums show the same aversions for genetically resistant seedling stock? Presentation to 2008 Alternatives to 1080 Program Annual Workshop, Launceston, April 2008

Wiggins NL, O'Reilly-Wapstra JM, Paterson SM, Potts BM. (2009) Do all possums show the same aversions for genetically resistant seedling stock? CRC for Forestry Technical Report 177. Hobart
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