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Effectiveness of RO-PEL in Repelling Predators from
Artificial Nests

DANIEL R. SPUHLER

College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point,
Stevens Point, WI 54481


In June 1989, RO-PEL, a commercial liquid repellent, was tested as a possible aid to increase waterfowl nesting success by protecting the eggs from predators. A total of 132 simulated nests of domestic chicken eggs were placed randomly in four separate areas within habitat favorable to red fox (Vulpes vulpes) (idle tame grass/legume fields) and Franklin's ground squirrel (Spermophilus franklinii) (>50% western snowberry [Symphoricarpos occidentalis] and silverberry [Elaeagnus commutata]) in and around Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge (LNWR), North Dakota. Red fox and Franklin's ground squirrel were targeted for this study because of their impact on waterfowl nests (Tinbergen 1965, Greenwood 1986, Sargeant et at. 1987). Three treatments used were: (1) RO-PEL sprayed directly on the eggs in the nest (44 nests), (2) RO-PEL sprayed onto vegetation in a 10 cm band, 40 cm to 50 cm radius around the nest (44 nests) and, (3) control nests in which no RO-PEL was used (44 nests). The two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) conducted with my data indicates there was no significant difference (Groeneveld 1988) among treatments. This suggests RO-PEL is ineffective at protecting eggs under conditions prevalent during this study.
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