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Title: Excluding feral swine, javelina, and raccoons from deer bait stations

item Pound, Joe
item Lohmeyer, Kimberly - Kim
item Davey, Ronald
item SOLIZ, LIZA - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Olafson, Pia

Submitted to: Human-Wildlife Interactions
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/2/2011
Publication Date: 3/15/2012
Citation: Pound, J.M., Lohmeyer, K.H., Davey, R.B., Soliz, L.A., Olafson, P.U. 2012. Excluding feral swine, javelina, and raccoons from deer bait stations. Human-Wildlife Interactions. 36:383-385.

Interpretive Summary: Cattle fever ticks that transmit the potentially fatal Texas fever, or bovine piroplasmosis, to cattle were declared eradicated from the U.S. after a nationwide campaign lasting from 1907 to 1943. This was possible to a large extent because of minimal to non-existent populations of white-tailed deer that could not be treated and would have acted as alternate hosts for the ticks. The campaign to prevent ticks from being reintroduced across the border from Mexico continues today; however, populations of white-tailed deer have drastically increased, and as alternate hosts they are compromising eradication effort. Currently, deer are being self-treated as they are attracted to bait in treatment stations, however, feral swine, javelina, and raccoons are damaging the feeders, consuming the bait, and preventing deer from being treated for ticks. The short electrified exclusion fence described in this paper has been shown to be essentially 100% effective in preventing the unwanted animals from accessing the bait stations while allowing free access by deer, thus dramatically increasing the efficiency, efficacy, and economy of treatments.

Technical Abstract: This paper presents a design, list of materials, and construction procedure for a physical and electric barrier fence to prevent feral swine (Sus scrofa), javelina (Pecari tajacu), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and perhaps other non-target animals from accessing or damaging bait stations designed to administer acaricide treatments for the prevention of cattle ticks, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, and southern cattle ticks, R. (B.) annulatus, from successfully feeding on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). The document includes behavioral rationale for the specific design, evidence of durability during deployment under field conditions in the brush country of southwestern Texas along the border with Mexico, and a demonstrated efficacy of 100%, as documented by photographic data gathered during this deployment. This study was undertaken specifically to aid in maximizing efforts of the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program (CFTEP) and the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) to control ticks feeding on white-tailed deer and will aid in preventing the re-introduction of cattle fever ticks and the potentially fatal Texas Fever that they vector from Mexico back into U.S cattle herds.