Interesting work is being done on the control of richardson ground squirrels or gophers.
Many areas have experienced heavy pressure in recent years with the dry conditions
Insect and Vertebrate Pest Management Specialist James Tansey says a key tool for controlling “strychnine” has been deregistered, noting it will be illegal to use after March 4, 2023.
“Because of this impending loss of a very valuable tool for Richardson’s ground squirrel control, we decided to look at some of the other registered control products. These include some zinc phosphide products in a ready-to-use formulation. We also looked at ‘ n some anticoagulant formulations which are Rozol ready to use and Ramik Green which is also a ready to use formulation.”
He notes that in Saskatchewan the testing was done around the RM of Maple Creek, an area with a high population of richardson’s ground squirrels.
“The results of this testing indicated that both of the zinc phosphide formulations were as effective as strychnine. There was no significant difference between the population reduction associated with these three products and it is therefore the two zinc phosphide and strychnine. The anticoagulants although they performed . relatively well, they were somewhat less effective than these in our Saskatchewan trials.”
Meanwhile, the province of Alberta conducted a companion study that had similar results with good controls, but they did not detect significant differences between the anticoagulants, zinc phosphide and strychnine.
You can listen to Glenda-Lee Allan Vossler’s interview with James Tansey, insect and vertebrate pest management specialist, below.