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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Considers Massive Aerial Spray to Eradicate Invasive Mice

(Beyond Pesticides, May 16, 2011) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is looking into “carpet-bombing” with pesticides (or a large aerial bombing) the Farallon Islands, off the coast of San Francisco, in an effort to eradicate the invasive house mouse that is encroaching on the survival of an endangered seabird. The problem is that this approach will also kill many other species in and around the Islands, including birds, reptiles and crustaceans.

FWS announced April 26, 2011 that the agency is preparing a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the islands located off the coast of San Francisco, California. The aim of the project is to “protect and restore the ecosystem.” The agency is accepting public comments, suggestions and other input on or before May 27, 2011.

“These are man-made problems,” Maggie Sergio, director of advocacy for the nonprofit organization WildCare, told the San Francisco Gate. “Is the aerial dumping of tons of poison over a pristine wilderness area really the answer? We don’t think so.”

WildCare, a Marin County animal rehabilitation center that has been around for 50 years, has been working to stop the spray. The organization sent around a petition and has so far collected over 1,500 signatures.

Brodificoum is highly toxic to birds and mammals. Brodifacoum was the culprit in most of the 48,000 rodenticide poisonings of children under six in 2004 and has contributed to the deaths of endangered San Joaquin kit foxes and golden eagles. Secondary exposure to brodifacoum at the National Zoo, caused the poisoning of small body birds such as finches, thrushes, and warblers were affected. One study concluded that the use of brodificoum for rodent control poses severe risk to sea bird colonies.

To learn more about rodenticides, visit Beyond Pesticides’ Rodenticides fact sheet. For least toxic control of mice and other pests visit the alternatives page.

Sign WildCare’s petition to stop the dumping of rodenticices on the Farrallon Islands.


Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services that the aerial broadcast of the rodenticide Brodifacoum poses too high of a risk to the Island’s ecosystem, including non-target avian speices and crustaceans. Comments will be accepted until May 27, 2011. Send comments either via email to [email protected] with the heading, “South Farrallon Islands NEPA Scoping Comments,” or send a hard copy to:

South Farrallon Islands NEPA Scoping Comments
℅ Gerry McChsney, Farrallon NWR Manager
9500 Thornton Ave
Newark, CA 94560.

Source: San Francisco Gate


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