2nd Generation Rat Poisons* Linked to Deerhorn Bobcat Deaths --

–by Kim Hamilton

Last year DeerhornValley.net published some photos of what we could only identify as a "mystery cat." (See top photo at right) It now appears that a deadly outbreak of a lethal mange has made its way to our area, and research is pointing to the use of anticoagulant (blood thinning) rodent poisons as the cause.

These poisons (D-Con, Tomcat) require multiple feedings to take effect, but as the squirrel, rat or gopher becomes sicker and slower, they also become easier prey for bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, and domestic dogs and cats.

In the Santa Monica Mountains more than half of the bobcat population has been wiped out by this mange during the last 8 years. All victims had ingested anti-coagulant poison.

Once a bobcat becomes sick, its behavior changes. They become less interested in food (or less able to eat), more readily approach residences and water sources.

These recommendations are from the UCLA research group currently investigating the deadly mange outbreak.

 

  • OWLS AND HAWKS: Ironically, using poison to kill rats may be wiping out the very predator population that could help keep them under control. The best pest control is to encourage natural predators. You can find out how to install owl nesting boxes and perches at www.owlnestboxes.com and www.wildwingco.com.
  • SNAP TRAPS: Old-fashioned spring-based "snap traps" will trap rats and smaller rodents for about $2. Plastic-bodied snap traps, such as Home Defense traps by Ortho, hide the carcass inside for easy disposal and cost about $10 for a two-pack.
  • ZAP TRAPS are battery-operated and kill rats quickly and cleanly with a jolt of electricity, hiding the carcass inside for easy disposal. They are reusable beginning at about $50.
  • SQUIRREL-N-ATOR live traps (2 ft square) are available at both of our local Jamul feed stores. Rob and I have used them to trap and dispose of nearly 200 ground squirrels during the last two years. The Squirrel-N-Ator comes with a "dunking tray" for disposal. (Enough said)
  • RODENT BLASTERS are remote detonating devices that uses a combination of propane and oxygen to explode underground tunnels and kill rodents. They are described as organically safe very easy to use pest control system for damaging ground squirrels, gophers and other problem destructive rodents. A website comparing the major brands is here: http://www.garden-counselor-lawn-care.com/gopher-blaster.html

 

REPORT SICK, MANGY, OR DEAD BOBCATS you may find near your home or on your hikes. Please contact

Laurel Klein Serieys
Email: Laurelklein@ucla.edu
(214) 729-2328

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* RODENT POISONS implicated in notoedric mange deaths and recommended for restriction by California Dept of Fish and Game:

brodifacoum

bromadiolone

difethialone

difenacoum

These poisons are found in brands D-Con, Tomcat, and others. Usually labeled for outdoor use.

 

AnticoagulantPoisons

DEADLY MANGE IN DEERHORN VALLEY

BobcatWithMange

Sept 2011- Bobcat dying of notoedric mange. Vicinity of Deerhorn Valley Rd. and Elena Lane.

 

BobcatMomWithKits

July 2011 - Mother and Kits... July 2011. Near Sierra Cielo. Mother contracted mange and abandoned her kits. One kit found temporary refuge in a tree. None of the bobcats survived.

 

BobcatKitTree

August 2011 - Abandoned bobcat kit.

 

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ONLINE RESOURCES & INFORMATION

PETITION TO TIGHTEN RODENTICIDE RESTRICTIONS:

WHERE HAVE ALL THE BOBCATS GONE?

URBAN CARNIVORES

LETTER FROM CA FISH & GAME

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