A Small Win for Wildlife

Wild mammals now comprise just 4% of the earth’s mammalian biomass. The vast majority of earths mammals are now livestock, people, and pets (in that order). Meanwhile, studies show birds of prey are also swiftly disappearing from the world’s skies.

This year, in a legislative effort to limit the decline of the state’s native wildlife, California has taken a small but important step forward. With the governor’s signature on AB 1788, the state has now banned the use of super-toxic rodenticides.

The harm to wildlife caused by these virulent poisons has been widely documented. More than 70% of wildlife tested in California has shown to have been exposed to dangerous rodenticides, including more than 25 different wild species of predatory birds and mammals.

While there are a number of different types of rodenticides, the worst are second-generation anticoagulants such as brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone and difenacoum. These chemicals, move through the food chain, killing not just the mice and rats, but also the predators and scavengers who consume them, including mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, hawks, and owls. With the passage of this much-needed legislation, four of the six most persistently toxic of these poisons are now officially banned throughout California.