Suffering bobcats, coyotes, owls spur Thousand Oaks neighborhood to rethink war on rats
– LA Times
“The sight was heartbreaking: a thin, mangy bobcat trembling against a brick wall separating the Thousand Oaks neighborhood of Dos Vientos from open space that is habitat for wildlife and popular among hikers.
The wildcat was too sick to move, even as passersby stepped closer one recent morning to snap photographs.
“It just stared at us,” Stephanie Marlin, 53, recalled, “with eyes that seemed to say, ‘Look what you guys did to me.’
A few hours later, Marlin posted snapshots of the animal on Facebook. By day’s end, they were being used in an emotional fight across social media channels over the unintended collateral damage of the Dos Vientos Ranch Community Assn.’s annual $40,000 war on rats.
Images of dead and dying bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes and owls posted on Dos Vientos community message boards and chat threads have aroused outrage among residents in and around the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. They believe rodenticides are working their way up the food chain.
Just recently, however, opponents of the pest control campaign discovered six boxes baited with anticoagulant rodenticide spaced roughly 100 feet apart along the backyard fencing of Dos Vientos homes.
Anticoagulants had been used until 2014, when California banned the sale to the public of so-called second-generation rat poison, which is more toxic than earlier versions and remains in a target species body at such high levels that other animals feeding on rat carcasses often also die.
National Park Service scientists for years have documented widespread exposure in carnivores to common household poisons in and around the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. During two decades of research in the region on carcasses and live animals, 88% of 140 bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions evaluated tested positive for one or more anticoagulant compounds.”
Read more by Louis Sahugun @ LA Times.com
– We choose our environment. It is a choice. What type of natural environment exists without wildlife?
Here is a photo of a healthy California bobcat: