Some interesting work is being done on the control of richardson ground squirrels or gophers.
Many areas have seen heavy pressure with the dry conditions over the last couple of years
Insect and Vertebrate Pest Management Specialist James Tansey says a key tool for control "strychnine" has been deregistered, noting that after March 4, 2023 it will be illegal to use.
"Because of this impending loss of a pretty valuable tool for Richardson's ground squirrel control, we decided to look at some of the other registered control products. These include a couple of zinc phosphide products in a ready to use formulation. We also looked at a couple of anticoagulant formulations that is Rozol ready to use and Ramik Green which is also a ready to use formulation."
He notes in Saskatchewan the testing was done around the RM of Maple Creek, an area with a high richardson ground squirrel population.
"The results of this testing indicated that both the zinc phosphide formulations were as efficacious as strychnine. There was no significant difference between the population reduction associated with these three products and and so that is the two zinc phosphide and strychnine. The anticoagulants although they performed relatively well, they were somewhat less efficacious than these ones in our Saskatchewan trials."
Meantime, the Province of Alberta conducted a companion study which had similar results with good control, but they didn't detect significant differences between the anticoagulants, zinc phosphide and strychnine.
You can listen to Glenda-Lee Allan Vossler's interview with Insect and Vertebrate Pest Management Specialist James Tansey below.