Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Use of Alpha-Chloralose by the Wildlife Services Program to Capture Nuisance Birds

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:Belant, JL, Tyson, LA, Seamans, TW
Journal:Wildlife Society Bulletin
Date Published:1999
ISBN Number:00917648
Keywords:Anas, Anas platyrhynchos, Anatidae, Branta, Branta canadensis, Cairina, Cairina moschata, Columba, Columba livia, Columbidae, Cygnus, Cygnus olor, Fulica, Fulica americana, Fulica atra, Rallidae
Abstract:In 1992, the United States Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services (WS) program received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use alpha-chloralose (AC) to capture nuisance waterfowl (Anatidae), American coots (Fulica americana), and pigeons (Columba livia). We summarized use of AC by the WS program to capture nuisance birds during 1994-1995. WS biologists used AC to capture 3,767 birds during 124 operations in 19 states. Captured birds included wild mallards (Anas platyrynchos, 20%), domestic mallards (24%), muscovies (Cairina moschata, 5%), Canada geese (Branta canadensis, 10%), domestic geese (8%), coots (27%), pigeons (5%), and other (<1%). The proportion of birds present at a site that were captured was less for pigeons (6%) than for waterfowl and coots (≥68%). Overall mortality of target birds was 5%, ranging from 0.1% (n=1,014) for coots to 67% (n=3) for mute swans (Cygnus olor). In addition, 102 nontarget birds were captured, of which there was 12% mortality. States with the greatest number of AC operations were Tennessee (14%), Georgia (12%), and California, Nevada, and Oregon (10% each). Most nuisance situations were at parks (39%), followed by golf courses and resorts (19%), and residential areas (17%). Capture operations were most frequent during March-April (29%) and least frequent during October-January (19%). AC is an effective tool to remove nuisance ducks, geese, and coots from situations where other techniques are impractical. We recommend additional research to improve existing techniques and to expand use of AC to capture other nuisance species.
Short Title:Wildlife Society Bulletin
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith