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Development of vertebrate repellents derived from chemical signals - VC0407

Description
Traditional methods of controlling vertebrate pest populations, such as scaring, netting, poisoning and trapping, are frequently ineffective, environmentally hazardous, socially unacceptable or uneconomic. Chemical repellents offer an alternative, non-lethal method of preventing damage by vertebrates; biologically significant repellents include social odours used to communicate to other members of the same species (conspecific) and odours left by predators. In this study, house mice (Mus domesticus) and wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) will be used as model systems to develop the use of social and predator odours as repellents. Behaviourally significant components of house mouse odours that elicit avoidance behaviour amongst all social classes of both males and females will be identified. To investigate the use of mammalian predator odours as repellents, components of predator urine and faeces that elicit avoidance behaviour in house and wood mice will be studied. Circumstances under which conspecific social odours and predator odours can be used to reduce activity of wild mice in problem areas will also be studied. Results will be used to establish rules for the use of social and predator odours as repellents in other pest mammals.
Objective
1. Conspecific social odours as repellents: to identify behaviourally significant components of House Mouse odours that elicit avoidance behaviour amongst all social classes of both males and females (Start: April 1995, Finish: February 1996). 2. Mammalian predator odours as repellents: to identify components of predator urine and faeces that elicit avoidance behaviour in House Mice and Wood Mice (Start: August 1995,Finish: February 1997). 3. To identify the circumstances under which components identified in 1 and 2 can be used to reduce the activity of wild mice in problem areas (Start: January 1997, Finish: February 1998).
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1995

To: 1998

Cost: £240,492
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Keywords
              
Fields of Study
Wildlife Management