Animals who feed on poisoned rodents become poisoned in turn!
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Table of Contents (click on a title to go there)
- Photos of affected animals
- City of Malibu Resolution Opposing Rodent Poisons
- The Chain of Death and statistics on poisoned animals
- Poison bait stations/boxes – the source of much of the poison
- Alternatives for rodent control without poisons
- Friends and Allies
- Recent laws and regulations restricting anticoagulant rodenticides
- Newspaper articles, blogs, and other articles
- Technical and academic articles
- Cities and counties that have passed resolutions opposing rodenticides
- Photos of US!
- Earth Friendly Angels (contributors of $1000 or more)
Here is what rodent poison is doing to our wildlife –
Found in Point Mugu State Park.
Mountain Lion P-22, The Heroic Griffith Park Mountain Lion
P-22 had been featured in National Geographic Magazine.
Click HERE for a Los Angeles CBS news video on P-22.
A National Public Radio story here.
The National Park Service press release detailing how 1st generation anticoagulant rodenticides were the culprit is here. The 2nd generation anticoagulants are the only ones recently banned for consumer use, but this is an indication that the 1st generation anticoagulants are also doing tremendous harm.
CITY OF MALIBU RESOLUTION OPPOSING RODENTICIDES
July 8, 2013
“The City Council urges businesses in Malibu to no longer use or sell anticoagulant rodenticides, urges all property owners to cease purchasing or using anticoagulant rodenticides on their properties in Malibu and commits the City of Malibu to not use anticoagulant rodenticides as part of its maintenance program for City-owned parks and facilities.”
How rodent poisons spread through the ecosystem, poisoning the wildlife
Malibu is adjacent to thousands of acres of National, State, County and City Parks and other preserved natural land. Modern supertoxic rodenticide poisons are spreading throughout the ecosystem causing massive exposure, disease, and death beyond the intended targets. Our goal is to have all the communities surrounding our mountains taking strong stands against the poisoning that is now occurring.
Scientific studies tell us that rodent poisons are a leading cause of death among carnivores. Rodenticides kill the targeted species, but non-targeted species as well. The animals in the food chain consuming the poisoned rodents include – Golden Eagles, Great-horned Owls, Barn Owls, Hawks, Kestrels, Turkey Vultures, Black bears, Pigs, Fishers, Foxes, Badgers, Snakes, Skunks, Raccoons, Bobcats, Coyotes, Mountain Lions, among others.
Click here to watch a 14 minute video by Dr. Seth Riley, Wildlife Ecologist of the Santa Monica Mountains National Park Service and adjunct professor at UCLA. It is an excellent introduction to the science of what is happening.
Rodent Poison Going Up the Food Chain – courtesy of UrbanCarnivores.com
These are animals that we rely on to do our natural rodent control, and we are poisoning them. By killing owls and hawks, we are removing nature’s own rodent control system. A rodent dying from rodenticide poisoning is easy prey. Eating the poisoned rodents causes their consumers to bleed uncontrollably internally and die slow and agonizing deaths. The weakened immune system produces extreme emaciation, dehydration, and mange that can take weeks to kill the animal.
There are extensive studies with overwhelming evidence of the carnage that rodenticides have been causing nationwide and in our own surrounding Santa Monica Mountains. Here are some examples. Numbers in “[ ]” refer to documents in the Section “Technical and Academic Articles” below.
– 83% of coyotes in the Santa Monica Mountains were exposed to rodenticides .
– 92% of bobcats tested in the Los Angeles area have been exposed to rodenticides .
– The complete loss of bobcats from many open space areas in the Conejo Valley due to increased vulnerability to the deadly disease mange, caused by exposure to rodenticides .
– Survival rate (percentage that live from one year to the next) plunged from 77% to a low of 23% in 2004. The reduced population’s survival rate has recovered somewhat to 58% .
– In a study of 195 bobcat blood samples in five southern California counties, the 1st generation anticoagulant diphacinone was found in 77% of the bobcats in which anticoagulants were detected. This emphasizes that the 1st generation anticoagulants are also doing tremendous harm, not just the more widely restricted 2nd generation poisons. See www.urbancarnivores.com/laurels-blog.
– Three studies:
- Of 104 mountain lions tested California-wide from 2005 to 2011, 82 contained rodenticides, with 78% containing more than one kind .
- Of 28 mountain lions found in eight California counties that were tested between 1997 and 2011, 100% tested positive for at least one of the 2nd generation rodenticides, 96% tested positive for brodifacoum, 93% tested positive for bromadiolone, 39% tested positive for difethialone and 61% tested positive for the 1st generation rodenticide diphacinone .
Note that this 1st generation anticoagulant is doing tremendous harm also, not just the more restricted 2nd generation anticoagulants.
- 14 out of 14 mountain lions tested by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in 2012 had rodenticides .
– 2 Simi Valley mountain lions (P3 and P4) were documented to have died directly from rodenticide exposure.
– Last October 2012 a young female mountain lion (P25) was found dead by hikers with rodenticides in her system in Point Mugu State Park, Malibu.
– A Department of Fish and Wildlife study stated “as of 2010, 92% of raptors (owls and hawks) collected in San Diego County and 79% collected in the Central Valley contained anticoagulant rodenticides” 
– 85% found exposed to rodenticides of 101 studied for exposure . Fishers are cat-sized weasel-type carnivores that live in the rugged portions of the southern Sierra Nevada and are candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
San Joaquin Kit Foxes
– 74% of 68 foxes sampled of this endangered variety studied near Bakersfield, California were exposed to anticoagulant poisons . This subspecies is listed as Federal Endangered and California Threatened, primarily due to profound habitat loss and degradation throughout its range.
• National Park Service summary letter
Here is a letter from the National Park Service dated July 8, 2013 in support of the Malibu anti-rodenticide Resolution – NPSLetter. It summarizes the situation, including the statement – “Our research suggests an interaction between anti-coagulant rodenticide exposure and death from mange and mange deaths resulting in the complete loss of bobcats from many open space areas in the Conejo Valley.”
Current studies have proven that there are no safe poisons that can be used around wildlife, pets, and children. Approximately 10,000 children a year are accidentally exposed to mouse and rat baits, as graphically described in this Scientific American article. Ten rodenticides have been identified by the US EPA as being particularly dangerous – Brodifacoum, Bromadiolone, Bromethalin, Chlorophacinone, Cholecalciferol, Difenacoum, Difethialone, Diphacinone, Warfarin, and Zinc Phosphide. They are specifically referenced in the US EPA document “Risk Mitigation Decision for Ten Rodenticides, May 28, 2008 (revised June 24, 2008)”. These and all other rodent poisons should be abandoned for rodent control in California.
It is imperative that we do our part to stop the use of poisons to control rodents and to prevent these poisons from killing other species that feed on them.
• There is much more information at Dr. Laurel Serieys’s Urban Carnivores website:
Dr. Laurel Serieys is a researcher at UCLA’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her website is the place to start.
– Home Page www.urbancarnivores.com
– Please read Laurel’s advice – NO POISON IS A GOOD POISON www.urbancarnivores.com/poisons
– Laurel’s blog, including her latest research: www.urbancarnivores.com/laurels-blog
– How to identify anticoagulant rodent poisons
First, please read the section in Laurel’s Urban Carnivores website No Poison Is A Good Poison (near the center of the long page). There is no poison that does not present a risk to wildlife, pets, and humans. At present, the strongest documented data points to anticoagulant rodent poisons as being the most damaging to wildlife.
There are two categories of anticoagulants. LOOK AT THE PRODUCT LABEL to determine the type of poison.
1) Second generation. Products that have any of the following active ingredients are in this category: brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, and difenacoum. These are the most advanced, and dangerous, poisons. They are banned for consumer use in the United States, but are VERY commonly used by the professional pest control companies.
2) First generation. Most common active ingredients are diphacinone, chlorophacinone, and warfarin. These are less potent, BUT —
– 1st Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides are not the solution!
2nd generation anticoagulants get most of the bad publicity and blame for poisoning wildlife, but recent research suggests that 1st generation anticoagulants (diphacinone, chlorophacinone and others) are no better. Here is a handout we made summarizing the evidence concerning the far more abundant 1st generation anticoagulants.
• We’ve got to get rid of these – poison bait boxes!
Please help stop the use of poisons to control rodents and to prevent these poisons from killing other species that feed on them. The first step is to identify the poison bait boxes where the rodents load up on poisons and then leave, initiating the Chain of Death. Please see this TV news story to see the bait boxes at their worst.
• Local Poison Free Businesses
Our educational campaign resulted in Malibu merchants removing all rodenticide products from their shelves. There had been six – Ralphs, CVS Pharmacy, Pavilions, Malibu Hardware, A&B Plumbing, and Malibu Ranch Market. Sperling Nursery, Ralphs, RiteAid, and Albertsons in Calabasas; and Agoura Feed and Roadside Lumber in Agoura Hills have also enthusiastically removed their poison products.
Please THANK these local merchants!
We would also very much like to recognize the following local Malibu businesses that do not use poisons, but instead use careful sanitation practices.
THIS IS THE PROOF THAT POISONS ARE NOT THE WAY TO GO BECAUSE …
They have no exposed garbage, no rodent problem, and no poisons!
Please patronize and thank them!
We also have noticed that businesses that do not clean up their garbage STILL HAVE RODENTS, NO MATTER HOW MUCH POISON THEY USE!
• Alternatives for Rodent Control without Poisons – THE SOLUTION IS SIMPLE!
The solution is CLEAN UP, SEAL UP, TRAP UP!
- Close tightly trash cans and dumpsters, and keep the area clean of spillage.
- Keep areas clean of food and water that feed rodents.
- Seal up all holes and openings into your home and attic.
- Thin dense planting areas where rodents can breed.
- From the San Francisco Chronicle, “Flowers That Deter Animals” include “aromatic annual herbs, such as mint, lavender and catnip. For perennial plants that repel mice, consider amaryllis (Amaryllis), lavender (Lavandula) or daffodils (Narcissus).”
- Understand that rodents are part of the food chain for owls, hawks, foxes, bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, and many others.
- For professional help, hire a rodent exclusion/proofing company instead of a conventional poison-supplying pest control company. They SOLVE the problem by removing the causes and entryways, with guarantees, not set you up for a monthly bill to re-supply unnecessary poisons. Examples in southern California are:
1) www.rodentsstop.com Phone: 818-583-7287
2) www.greenratcontrol.com Phone: 855-856-8585
3) www.sosrodentcontrol.com Phone: 888-998-6588
- After sealing up, use traps to remove rodents left inside – live traps, snap traps, electric traps. Outside traps are unnecessary.
• California Department of Pesticide Regulation:
Excellent series of YouTube videos on what to do to control rodents. It is specifically for schools, but the strategies are the same for anyone —
Integrated Pest Management for Schools.
There are short videos for
Rats and Mice, Gophers, Pest Proofing Buildings, and others.
• Safe Rodent Control Coalition: This is a group that promotes resources to help manage rodents safely, effectively, and affordably without the harmful impacts of chemical rodent control methods — saferodentcontrol.org
• Where to discard rodent poisons
Rodent poisons CANNOT go into ordinary trash pickup, or even some of the “hazardous household waste” events in many cities. They must be taken to special Collection Centers at specific days and times. In Los Angeles City and County, these Centers can be found at
Information on where to bring hazardous waste in Ventura County can be found at the following link. Please check which Centers accept rodent poison by calling the indicated phone numbers: portal.countyofventura.org/portal/page/portal/PUBLIC_WORKS/wasteManagement/hazardous_waste/haz_waste_collection_events
• Owl Boxes
Some links we have found on owl boxes, especially in regard to vineyards:
– Israel has made a huge investment in owl boxes for agricultural, and it is paying off:
a) The Israeli-Jordan barn owl love that knows no borders
b) Israel leads the way using Barn Owls and Kestrels to replace Rodenticides
c) Project Bird Box Israel
– Rodent Control for Vineyards:
– Potential for Barn Owl as Rodent Biological Control in Central California Vineyards: digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1018&context=biosp
– Vineyard Management: Barn Owls as a means of rodent controls: www.hungryowl.org/services/vineyards.html
– Buying Barn Owl boxes, and a lot of information about them: www.barnowlbox.com and www.naturesremedy.co/
Our Informational Pamphlet and others –
And this one is from the city of Malibu Environmental Programs –
City of Calabasas Environmental Commission’s Pamphlet –
• Friends and Allies
– Raptors Are The Solution
The leader of this effort in northern California is Lisa Viani who heads up the Raptors Are The Solution group.
She has a lot of up to date news on her Facebook page –
Her website has some more information and links –
Lisa has put three great videos on YouTube – www.youtube.com/user/raptorsrthesolution
– California Wildlife Center
The CWC takes responsibility for the protection of all native wildlife through rehabilitation, education and conservation. – cawildlife.org
– Santa Monica Mountains Fund
Protecting the Santa Monica Mountains and the wondrous species that call it home. – samofund.org
– Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation
The voice and conscience of the Santa Monica Mountains since 1968 – lvhf.org
– Wildcare of SoCal
Through the efforts of concerned and caring humans, many animals can be rehabilitated. Wildlife Care of SoCal is a group of volunteers dedicated to helping individual wild animals in need. – wildcareofventura.org
– Santa Susana Mountain Park Association
Preserving and protecting the Santa Susana Mountains and Simi Hills of Southern California – ssmpa.com
– Sierra Club San Fernando Valley
A very active chapter and strong supporters of protecting wildlife – angeles2.sierraclub.org/san_fernando_valley_group
– National Parks Conservation Association
The mission of the National Parks Conservation Association is to protect and enhance America’s National Parks for present and future generations – www.npca.org
– Topanga Creek Watershed Committee
The mission of the TCWC is to preserve, protect and improve the health and well-being of the Topanga Creek Watershed by educating stakeholders to act in support of this valuable and fragile ecosystem. We actively promote non-toxic and bio-friendly solutions to environmental issues, and oppose the use of herbicides and pesticides.
– Topanga Wildlife Youth Project
• California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR)
new rules banning 2nd gen anticoagulants from consumers use – July 1, 2014.
– Here is the official CDPR website stating and explaining the new July 1, 2014 regulations banning consumer use of 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticides. Includes technical arguments supporting the rule change in the document “Initial Statement of Reasons” and responses to public comment in “Attachment A” of Final Statement of Reasons.
• New Santa Monica Mountains Local Coastal Plan banning all anticoagulant rodenticides – October 10, 2014.
– Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky spearheaded a major revision of the development regulations for the unincorporated areas of the Santa Monica Mountains within the Coastal Zone boundary. See a map for where it applies here. One of its clauses reads –
“The use of insecticides, herbicides, anti-coagulant rodenticides, or any toxic chemical substance which has the potential to significantly degrade biological resources in the Santa Monica Mountains, shall be prohibited, except where necessary to protect or enhance the habitat itself …”
All the details are here at planning.lacounty.gov/coastal/smm.
See especially clause CO-58 in the “SMM LCP Land Use Plan”
• State Bill AB 2657 – September 10, 2014
– State Assemblyman Richard Bloom successfully put through a law signed by the Governor on September 19, 2014. It bans the use of 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticides on state wildlife habitat areas, meaning state parks, wildlife refuges, and conservancies. The official bill can be found here –
Blogs and other articles
Here is a link to more news articles – Recent Articles
– Blog by our great nature journalist for the Malibu Surfside News, Suzanne Guldimann. Here is the main page and two articles on rodenticides and wildlife.
– “Silent Spring Revisited”
Article from the Kansas Audubon Society illustrating how the process of collusion among the rodenticide chemical companies, academic researchers, and the EPA allow clearly damaging poisons to be applied for short term financial benefit.
– It’s not just the California, or the USA. It’s all over the world.
“Nearly No Barn Owls Left in Ireland”
– Blog by Stella McMillin of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife Wildlife Investigations Laboratory
– “The Food Chain of Rodenticide”
January 20, 2014 three minute radio story on American Public Media’s MarketPlace
– TED Talk. “For more wonder, rewild the world”. Wonderful talk on how restoring the top carnivore, in this case wolves, restores an entire ecosytem:
The Malibu Surfside News, its former Editor/Publisher Anne Soble, and its great environmental reporter Suzanne Guldimann are a major reason we started this campaign.
– “Banning Rodenticides: The Next Hurdle” from the Malibu Surfside News, December 13, 2012. Editorial.
– “Concerns about Rodenticide Impact on Wildlife Prod Efforts to Curb Use” from the Malibu Surfside News, December 6, 2012. Malibu Agricultural Society effort to stop sales in Malibu.
– “Use of Rodenticides at High School Raises Issues of Health and Safety” from the Malibu Surfside News, September 15, 2011.
– “Rodenticide information session draws out Malibu activists” from the Malibu Surfside News, March 17, 2014.
– “State Preemption Law – The battle for local control of democracy”
This article explains how the agriculture and pest control industries put through a law preventing local cities and counties from regulating pesticides. It all started when Mendocino County tried to protect their children from spraying with herbicides.
• Technical and Academic Articles
1) California Department of Pesticide Regulation on their new rules to ban consumer use of 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticides.
BEST SINGLE SUMMARY and review of the latest data on the damage to wildlife in California. June 27, 2013 memorandum from Deborah Daniels, Senior Environmental Scientist to Ann Prichard, Chief, Pesticide Registration Branch, both of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
2) These are two long technical reports from a scientific panel reporting to the US Environmental Protection Agency. There is a lot of information not found easily elsewhere. In particular they discuss several different kinds of rodenticides, including first generation anticoagulants, second generation, and non-anticoagulants such as bromethalin and strychnine.
3) Slides from November 2012 presentation by Stella McMillin of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife Wildlife Investigations Laboratory – “Anticoagulant Rodenticides Rodenticides: Secondary Poisoning of Wildlife in California”
4) Coyotes. Gehrt SD, Riley SPD. In book Urban Carnivores edited by SD Gehrt, SPD Riley, BL Cypher. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 79-95 (2010).
a) L. E. K. Serieys, T. C. Armenta, J. G. Moriarty, E. E. Boydston, L. M. Lyren, R. H. Poppenga, K.R.Crooks, R.K.Wayne, S.P.D.Riley, “Anticoagulant rodenticides in urban bobcats: exposure, risk factors and potential effects based on a 16-year study,” Ecotoxicology (2015) 24:844–862
b) Riley SPD, Boydston EE, Crooks KR, Lyre, LM. In book Urban Carnivores edited by SD Gehrt, SPD Riley, BL Cypher. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 121-138 (2010).
c) Also, see Riley, SPD, et al, “Anticoagulant Exposure and Notoedric Mange in Bobcats and Mountain Lions in Urban Southern California,” Journal of Wildlife Management, 71(6):1874-1884 (2007).
6) Mountain Lions. July 11, 2011 Letter from John McCammon, Director, California Department of Fish and Game to Christopher Reardon, Acting Director of California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
7) Mountain Lions. Table 4, page 11 of June 27, 2013 memorandum from Deborah Daniels, Senior Environmental Scientist to Ann Prichard, Chief, Pesticide Registration Branch, both of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
8) Owls and Hawks (Raptors). Lima, L. L., and Salmon, T. P. “Assessing some potential environmental impacts from agricultural anticoagulant uses.” Proceedings of the Vertebrate Pest Conference 24:199–203 (2010).
a) Gabriel, M.W., et al, “Patterns of Natural and Human-Caused Mortality Factors of a Rare Forest Carnivore, the Fisher in California“, Public Library of Science One, 0140640, #11, Vol. 10, November 2015.
b) Gabriel, M. W., et al, “Anticoagulant Rodenticides on our Public and Community Lands: Spatial Distribution of Exposure and Poisoning of a Rare Forest Carnivore.” Public Library of Science One, 0040163, #7, Vol. 7, July 2012.
10) “Potential Risks of Nine Rodenticides to Birds and Nontarget Mammals: A Comparative Approach,” William Erickson and Douglas Urban, US Environmental Protection Agency, July 2004. This 230 page report is an often cited classic in the field.
11) The Center for Biological Diversity is a national leader protecting the environment, including legal action. This is a detailed summary of their argument to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation – www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/pesticides_reduction/pdfs/2012-12_Rodenticide_comments_to_DPR.pdf
12) Cypher, B.L., McMillin, S.C. , Westall, T.L., Van Horn Job, C., Hosea, R.C. Finlayson, B.J. and Kelly, E.C., “Rodenticide Exposure Among Endangered Kit Foxes Relative to Habitat Use in an Urban Landscape.”Cities and the Environment 7(1): Article 8 (2014).
13) Ceballos, G., et al, “Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction.” Science Advances 19 Jun 2015: Vol. 1, no. 5, e1400253, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400253. ” … the number of species that have gone extinct in the last century would have taken, depending on the vertebrate taxon, between 800 and 10,000 years to disappear. These estimates reveal an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity over the last few centuries, indicating that a sixth mass extinction is already under way.” — From the Abstract.
14) Pope Francis, ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME. “The destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement.” — One of many quotes beautifully describing the crisis we are in regarding climate change and our relationship to the Earth.
15) L Mott, D Fore, J Curtis, G Solomon, Chapter 5, “Pesticides”, Our Children at Risk, Natural Resources Defense Council, November 1997. Comprehensive summary of the effects of pesticides on children.
16) Talk about the dangers of glyphosates/RoundUp by Dr. Stephen Frantz, pathobiologist and expert on pesticides: Poison Free Malibu YouTube channel
• Cities and Counties that have passed Resolutions Against Rodenticides with links:
Agoura Hills, 2/12/2014
Hidden Hills, 3/24/2014
Simi Valley, 4/20/2015
Thousand Oaks, 4/14/2015
Westlake Village, 4/23/2014
El Cerrito, 9/19/2012
Foster City, 7/15/2013
Humboldt County, 5/14/2013
Marin County, 5/1/2012
Menlo Park, 10/20/2015
San Anselmo, 3/26/2013
San Francisco (City and County), 12/2/2011
Our team at work at an Earth Day event in Malibu.
Earth Friendly Angels
Major Contributors, $1000 or more
City of Malibu
Joel and Kian Schulman
Richard and Ann Buxie
Victoria Principal Foundation
June and Jeff Louks
The Malibu Agricultural Society
Donna Kaplan and Lou Arcay
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1) Mailing a check made out to Poison Free Malibu to
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We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (ID 95-4116679)