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Illegal marijuana crops’ negative impact on wildlife

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Mourad Gabriel with a CA fisher--one of the wildlife species at risk due to the use of rodenticides in illegal marijuana cultivation on public lands.

Rodenticides used on illegal marijuana farms have already been shown to pose serious harm to the fisher—a cat-sized carnivore found in forests across Canada and four regions in the U.S. (Previous news article.)

Mourad Gabriel, a doctoral candidate with the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, provides a more comprehensive look at the situation in the recent issue of The Wildlife Professional, put out by The Wildlife Society. (Article here.)

New information looks at risks to other species and to the ecologists and biologists conducting wildlife research on community and public lands where more of these crops are being cultivated.

Highlights include: 

•         Newly documented fisher mortalities (necropsies done at UC Davis’ California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System)

•         New data documenting just a glimpse of potential environmental degradation possibly occurring on our public lands

•         First mention of toxicants like carbamates and organochlorides (DDT etc...) that are being found in California grow sites

•         Provides readers with information on how some of these toxicants are placed at grow sites to maliciously poison wildlife

•         New info and discussion points of "what are" the potential effects of ...such as damming water courses, putting toxic slurry of chemicals in dammed creeks, cutting riparian zones, human feces (affects salmon and many other species)

•         First-hand accounts of ecologists and biologists conducting wildlife research being shot at, chased and threatened

•         Quantifies the loss of project area access, and data from fisher projects in California public lands

There is also a link to a video that offers a first account visual representation of what a fisher looks like, the unfortunate visual effects of toxicosis and the realistic outcome to wildlife from these illicit activities on tribal and public lands.

 

 


 Trina Wood, tjwood@ucdavis.edu; 530-752-5257