falcophile at comcast.net falcophile at comcast.net
Mon Dec 18 10:52:01 PST 2017


It is no surprise that a Barred Owl tested positive for the second generation anticoagulant rodenticide (SGAR) brodifacoum. What is surprising is that the bird was actually tested for exposure. Due to the cost (about $100) very few dead raptors get tested. There are no systematic studies on the prevalence of raptor exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) in Washington or Oregon. Excellent studies on exposure have been done in the Vancouver, BC area (see the work of John Elliott & Sofi Hindmarch, et al.), California, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey and the results are uniformly dismal. A study in MA of 94 dead hawks & owls published this year showed 96% exposure to at least one SGAR and in 16% AR was determined to be the primary cause of death. Also, note that essentially nothing is known about the effects of a sub-lethal exposure in birds.

One (dim?) ray of hope is that in 2015 EPA banned the sale of SGARs to the general public while still permitting their use by licensed pest control professionals, which MAY decrease their use. The organization “Raptors are the Solution” (“RATS”) is working hard to get a complete ban on SGARs through the California legislature and is a worthy 501c3 for your year-end donations.

Ed Deal

Seattle Cooper’s Hawk Project

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