Rat Poison Found in Ozzie, the Bald Eagle

© Corbis

© Corbis

According to CROW’s Hospital Director, Dr. Heather Barron, the necropsy results for Ozzie the American Bald Eagle showed rodenticide exposure (brodifacoum).  As of March 31, 2015 this second- generation anticoagulant rodenticde in 12 d-con products are no longer being distributed to retailers and are now banned in the consumer (homeowner) market.  However, the new EPA regulations do not affect the professional pesticide industry; they are still allowed to use these second-generation rat poisons, brodifacoum, bromaiolone, difenacoum, and difethialone.

According to Common Sense Pest Control based in Berkley California, brodifacoum is responsible for about 74% of reported pet poisonings, and in areas where it is used, at least 11% of the raptors may be at lethal risk for secondary poisoning … meaning the eagle, owl, or hawk that eats the rat that ate the poison.  Sometimes a rat may eat the poison 20-40 times before it dies.  Even if the poisoned rat does not kill the animal, sublethal amounts make them more susceptible to disease and accidents, building up over time in their system.  One study in California showed that 90% of bobcats in an area had been poisoned with rat poisons.   These poisons can also effect reproduction in raptors.

Dee (5 of 5)

Poison Alternatives

So what can you do to help the islands raptors, fox, and bobcats?  Do not use rat poisons of any kind!  Help your neighbors understand that their use of these poisons affect wildlife.  Tell your pest control company to not use poisons but to instead find and plug up the ways rats are entering your home.  Use snap traps or battery operated traps to catch the rats.  Try using a professional wildlife removal business instead of a pesticide company for rat control.

Barn Owls no longer nest on Sanibel.  Has anyone spotted a Great Horned owl nest in the last couple of years?   Help put an end to this silent and deadly assault on our wildlife… just say no to rat poisons.

Please contact Dee at 239-472-2329 with any questions.