A field study was conducted on the island of Antigua, West Indies, to evaluate baits for delivering an oral rabies vaccine to the small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus). Tracking tiles were used to determine that mongooses were nonselective and took both egg-flavored polyurethane baits and fish-flavored polymer baits containing several different food materials. A high proportion of baits were taken the day of placement with minimal disturbance by nontarget species. DuPont Oil Blue A™ dye was an effective short-term biomarker for use in baits; based on its subsequent detection in mongooses, some of the population had consumed and not cached or discarded baits. Central point baiting stations showed promise as an alternative delivery technique.
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Vol. 29 • No. 2