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Sat, Feb

Marijuana Farms Expose Spotted Owls to Rat Poison in Northwest California

Typography

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.

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 Jan. 11 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.

Read more at University of California - Davis

Image: This is a Northern spotted owl. (Credit: J. Mark Higley/Hoopa Tribal Forestry)