As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Marijuana farms poisoning Spotted Owls


Wildlife species are being exposed to high levels of rat poison in northwest California, with illegal marijuana farms the most likely source point, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis, with the California Academy of Sciences.

The study, released in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology, showed that seven of the 10 Northern Spotted Owls collected tested positive for rat poison, while 40 percent of 84 barred owls collected also tested positive for the poison.

The study is the first published account of anticoagulant rodenticide in Northern Spotted Owls, which are listed as a threatened species under federal and state Endangered Species acts.

The study area encompasses Humboldt, Mendocino and Del Norte counties. It supports previous accounts that rat poison is contaminating the food web in this region, as the primary food source for owls—rodents—is being contaminated.

Timberland converting to marijuana farms
Driving the issue is the increasing conversion of private timberland into private, illegal and unpermitted marijuana cultivation sites. These sites often overlap with designated critical habitat for Northern Spotted Owls, and the owls feed at their edges.



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