Rat poison kills far more than just rats. The poison, or rodenticide as it's also known, accumulates in the small rodents, which are then eaten by larger animals. This is a problem virtually everywhere, and for all kinds of predators from hawks to bobcats.
Here at The Secret Life of Mountain Lions we were saddened by this recent report of a bobcat that had to be euthanized in the Santa Monica area in California. It's not likely that anyone is trying to poison the big cats on purpose. But the poison makes its way up the food chain without anyone's intent. According to the Santa Monica Mountains Fund, eleven out of twelve mountain lions in their area tested positive for two or more rodent toxin poisons.
What can you do? Educating yourself and those in your neighborhood is always the first step. An organization called Raptors Are The Solution has a great set of tips for alternative ways to manage rodents. And The Hungry Owl Project also has insightful information about how rodenticides get into the food chain, and a very cool suggestion for rodenticide-free management techniques!
You can also spread the word by sharing alternatives with your family, friends, and neighbors, or posting on Facebook and Twitter with the buttons below. Thank you for your help!
Ask nearly anyone who has had the experience of seeing a cougar in the wild, and you will hear words like amazing, surreal, and profound. The odds of seeing a cougar at all are very slim, and the chances of having a negative interaction with a cougar are smaller still. But with hiking season approaching soon, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about some safety tips for being outdoors in mountain lion territory.
Fortunately for us, The Western Wildlife Outreach has already compiled some great tips, including things about protecting your pets and livestock if you live in mountain lion country. Have a look here http://westernwildlife.org/cougar-outreach-project/tips-for-coexistence-with-cougars and then let us know if you have any more of your own tips to add.
Enjoy your hikes!