Increasing the efficacy of Judas goats by sterilisation and pregnancy termination

Campbell, K. J., Baxter, G. S., Murray, P. J., Coblentz, B. E., Donlan, C. J. and Carrion, V. (2005) Increasing the efficacy of Judas goats by sterilisation and pregnancy termination. Wildlife Research, 32 8: 737-743. doi:10.1071/WR05033

Author Campbell, K. J.
Baxter, G. S.
Murray, P. J.
Coblentz, B. E.
Donlan, C. J.
Carrion, V.
Title Increasing the efficacy of Judas goats by sterilisation and pregnancy termination
Journal name Wildlife Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1035-3712
Publication date 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/WR05033
Volume 32
Issue 8
Start page 737
End page 743
Total pages 7
Editor Camilla Myers
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
300802 Wildlife and Habitat Management
779904 Control of pests and exotic species
Abstract The use of Judas goats to locate remnant animals is a potentially powerful tool for enhancing goat-eradication efforts, which are especially important to island conservation. However, current Judas goat methodology falls short of its potential efficacy. Female Judas goats are often pregnant at the time of deployment or become impregnated in the field; pregnant females leave associated goats to give birth, causing downtime of Judas goat operations. Further, male Judas goats may inseminate remnant females. Sterilising Judas goats prior to deployment removes these inefficiencies. Here, we describe two methods (epididymectomy for males and tubal occlusion for females) that sterilise Judas goats while still maintaining sexual motivation and other behaviours associated with intact animals. These surgeries are straightforward, time efficient, and may be conducted in the field by staff with minimal training. Given the widespread and deleterious impacts of non-native herbivores to ecosystems and the importance of Judas operations in detecting animals at low densities, sterilisation and termination of pregnancy should be applied routinely in Judas goat (and possibly other species) programs to increase the efficacy of low-density control operations and eradication campaigns.
Keyword Ecology
Feral Goats
Q-Index Code C1

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 06:50:24 EST