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An ever-changing ecological battlefield — from The Wildlife Professional

Cara J

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Frozen in the act of scavenging dinner, the vulture’s head lay on the fox’s abdomen, covering the hole it had been attempting to enlarge. When biologists pulled the bird away, they found not only a healthy looking, though dead, fox underneath, but also scores of insects scattered around. Less than a mile away the scene was repeated. This time the dead animal was a black bear, again with a vulture lying on top of it and numerous insects scattered nearby. These two scenes, which biologists found during raids conducted last year in California’s Lassen National Forest on “trespass marijuana grow sites,” highlight the broad and gruesome nature of wildlife poisoning associated with illegal marijuana cultivation on public, tribal, state and private lands across the United States. Today, growers use a wide variety of legal and illegal toxicants to protect the crop from rodents chewing irrigation lines and omnivores raiding food supplies. Wildlife poisoning is ubiquitous at these illegal grow sites, both intentional and secondary. Preliminary tests conducted by the University of California, Davis California Animal Health and Food Safety laboratory (CAHFS) indicated that the insects were contaminated with carbofuran, an insecticide banned in the U.S. but increasingly found at these [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/an-ever-changing-ecological-battlefield-from-the-wildlife-professional/

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