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Rodent poisons are decimating populations of mountain lions and bobcats

This petition had 38,736 supporters

Poison bait boxes used in public spaces like restaurants, shopping centers, and schools are killing things other than rodents. The use of rodent poison moves up the food chain, spreads throughout the ecosystem, and decimates urban carnivore populations in open space areas locally, across the state of California, and even nationally. It impacts our families as well, approximately 10,000 children a year are accidentally exposed to mouse and rat baits.

A rodent dying from rodenticide poisoning is easy prey and is quickly consumed by mountain lions, raptors, and other urban carnivores. The most common type of poison used is anticoagulant rodenticide, which causes uncontrollable internal bleeding and the animal suffers a slow and agonizing death. The weakened immune system produces extreme emaciation, dehydration, and mange that can take weeks to kill the animal.  There is no poison that does not present a risk to wildlife, pets, and humans.  At present, studies point to anticoagulant rodent poisons as being the most damaging to wildlife. Studies also show that rodenticides are a leading cause of death among carnivores. The statistics are alarming:

  • The complete loss of bobcats from many open space areas in Conejo Valley, California are due to increased vulnerability to the deadly disease mange, caused by exposure to rodenticides;
  • Of 104 mountain lions tested in California from 2005 to 2011, 79% contained rodenticides;
  • 74% of 68 foxes sampled near Bakersfield, California were exposed to anticoagulant poisons. The subspecies tested is listed as Federal Endangered and California Threatened, primarily due to profound habitat loss and degradation throughout its range.

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. Protecting urban carnivores ensures a balanced ecosystem and keeps our open space areas in a healthier state due to top down forcing - limiting grazing and thus, preventing soil erosion and landslides. 

There are simple and effective alternatives for rodent control without using rodenticides, such as stricter sanitary policies, keeping areas clean, implementing rodent exclusion and rodent proofing, and simply keeping trash bins tightly closed.  So simple, but it works.

Local bans on the use of anticoagulant rodenticides already exist, such as in the County of Los Angeles. Many businesses, property owners, and cities have restricted the use, sales, and purchase of all rodenticides. With your support, we can make the prohibition of anticoagulant rodenticides a legislative priority and urge the state Legislature to ban anticoagulant rodenticides statewide.
It would help protect rapidly diminishing wildlife populations.

By signing the petition, you will let Governor Brown know that the time to ban anticoagulant rodenticides is now.

Photo courtesy of Poison Free Malibu.

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