Poison from illegal pot farms said a risk

July 16, 2012 at 6:13 PM   |   Comments

DAVIS, Calif., July 16 (UPI) -- Rat poison used by people illegally growing marijuana in remote areas of California may be killing the fisher, a rare weasel-like carnivore, researchers say.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis, along with the Wildlife Conservation Society and other partner institutions, said they've found commercial rodenticide in dead fishers in Humboldt County near Redwood National Park and in the southern Sierra Nevada in and around Yosemite National Park.

Illegal marijuana farms in remote areas where fishers live are considered a likely source as some marijuana growers apply the poisons to keep a wide range of animals away from their crops.

Fishers are likely exposed to the poison when eating animals that have already ingested it, the conservation society said in a release Monday.

Fishers in California, Oregon and Washington have been declared a candidate for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Other species, including martens, spotted owls and Sierra Nevada red foxes may also be at risk from poisons, researchers said.

"If fishers are at risk, these other species are most likely at risk because they share the same prey and the same habitat," UC Davis researcher Mourad Gabriel said in a university release.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Curiosity rover escapes hidden Mars sand trap
Whale spotted in Virginia's Elizabeth River
Navy aviation tests combined unmanned, manned operations
Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg: I'll take the ice bucket challenge, and improve it
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
Trending News