WHEREAS Richardson Ground Squirrels are a significant problem for agricultural producers in many areas of Alberta; AND WHEREAS existing options for the control of Richardson Ground Squirrels are either unavailable or ineffective;AND WHEREAS it is apparent that there are several control options that are presently being reviewed for registration by regulatory agencies in Canada; AND WHEREAS many agricultural producers are reporting losses due to these pests;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Alberta Agriculture Food and Rural Development actively participate in the process to fund and assist in the registration of effective Richardson Ground Squirrel control products.
Richardson Ground Squirrels have been a problem for agricultural producers from the time that agriculture has been active in the province of Alberta. In the past many control options have been tried, many with little effect. The use of strychnine has been the most effective control agent, and continues to be today. However even with the emergency registration of this product for the past two years and the existing registration, there are serious problems in accessing the product, and the inability to guarantee a long term supply has made this option ineffective.At present in Alberta there are three products that are registered and available:Sulphur oxide cartridges can be effective; however they are expensive and not practical on a large scale.Chlorophacinone baits are available under the trade name Rozol. These baits require multiple feedings and have proven to be only moderately effective in the past.Zinc Phosphide baits are an acute poison that is available in Alberta under the trade name Burrow Oat Bait. This product shows only moderate success as it seems to have problems with bait uptake.1080 compound does have a registration for Ground Squirrels in some U.S. states, and has not been registered in Alberta due to the high cost of the registration process. As well Aluminum Phosphide presently is under review for registration for the control of Richardson Ground Squirrels, but as of yet has not received registration.Exit is a new product that is presently undergoing the process of registration. It is foam that is mixed with a mustard extract that is pumped directly into the burrow. It is also awaiting registration. Although it is labor intensive to apply it has been demonstrated as effective as a control agent in U.S. studies.There is a definite need for a long-term solution to controlling Richardson Ground Squirrels in Alberta.