Sodium nitrite bait seemed like an ideal toxicant to deal with wild pigs. But when dead birds appeared near a test bait station in Texas, biologists realized they had eaten crumbs of bait that the pigs left behind. “It takes a handful to kill a hog,” says TWS member Kurt VerCauteren, with USDA-Wildlife Services. A piece the size of a grain of rice will kill a bird.
A recent article in Undark looks at the challenges of finding a toxin — or any other technique — that would reduce the impact that invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) have on the landscape and agricultural operations without harming native wildlife.
“You want it to be effective, you want it to be humane, and you want it to only kill what you want to kill,” VerCauteren says.