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Gophers

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UKYellowsta
Thu Feb 11 2016, 09:43PM

Rev
Registered Member #11828
Joined: Wed Jun 17 2015, 08:54PM
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Posts: 10
My cat has started catching them! Maybe I could rent her out lol. Have you tried ferret poo? They live in Prarie dog towns and live on prarie dogs in the wild, so that.might work! I can get some if you can't find some....

Virginia Jecks-Wright

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Skier
Sat Mar 12 2016, 09:17AM

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Joined: Sat Mar 17 2012, 09:02AM
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cricket
Sat Mar 12 2016, 10:46AM

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Joined: Sat Oct 14 2006, 01:47PM
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I hate them...so destructive.

Summer will be here soon!
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Mtngoat John⭐
Sat Mar 12 2016, 02:03PM


Joined: Sun Oct 26 2008, 05:33PM
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Me too! This one stole my Cheez its at MDO SP.




nothing in life is free, it ain't about easy it's about tough


"We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible" Vince Lombardi

"Faith is not about everything turning out OK;
Faith is about being OK no matter how things turn out."
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Arrowbearmoma
Sun Mar 20 2016, 11:47PM
Registered Member #1936
Joined: Wed Sep 23 2009, 06:50PM
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I have been fortunate to have pretty good luck with the metal traps. Little tricks my grandpa and dad taught me. 1st rub your hands in the dirt to get the "human scent" masked. Find a fresh mound of dirt and dig down a bit and root around the sides till you find the tunnel, dig the tunnel out a bit in order to place the trap. Rub the trap in the dirt or grass to also mask the scent and place a little grass over the trap before you put it in the tunnel. I also don't cover up the hole completely..just some big clumps or rocks to keep most of the light out. That seems to attract them to come back and cover everything back up..Leave your trap alone for a few days then check it. I attached a chain/cord to mine along with a steak for marking where I placed them. It also makes it easier to pull out of the hole. I and usually catch 4-5 during the season. Even caught an albino gopher one year. It had red eyes. My Dad said in all of his years he never saw an albino one. Best of luck to you!
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Around The Lake
Mon Mar 21 2016, 03:58PM

There is no such thing as a nobody as everyone touches someone's life
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Joined: Mon Sep 25 2006, 10:38PM
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WD40 is the trick. spray the trap then place it as always

Todd C
A Smile Goes A Long Way To Making Somebodys Day Great
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Skyline Drive
Tue May 28 2019, 08:58AM

Registered Member #191
Joined: Tue Dec 05 2006, 06:43AM
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Posts: 2730
Poisoning up the food chain

The second-generation anticoagulants can also bioaccumulate in an ecosystem in various ways, says Maureen Murray, clinical assistant professor of wildlife medicine at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. “Imagine a squirrel eats some, but not enough to die,” she says. “That squirrel gets eaten by a predator. This happens again and again. These smaller amounts of rodenticide can add up in the predator, accumulating in the individual until it has a lethal dose.”

Or, Murray says, “There’s a bait placed somewhere, and some invertebrates eat it. Then songbirds come along and eat the insects. Then a Cooper’s Hawk comes along and eats the songbird. These are compounds that can move through different steps in the food chain.”
Red-tailed Hawks in NYC. Photo by Lincoln Karim
Red-tailed Hawk Lima (at left) perches with Pale Male in New York City. Photo by Lincoln Karim.

But pinning down a rodenticide as the cause of death for hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls is challenging. “It’s tough to say for sure [how many birds are affected],” says Allen Fish, director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory in California. “Diagnosis is expensive, $100 to $200 per bird. A lot of wildlife rehabilitation organizations can’t afford that kind of expense.”

The high mobility of raptors further complicates attempts to pinpoint cause and effect. Second-generation rodenticides used for prairie dog control on the Great Plains, for example, may end up in the liver tissues of hawks or eagles that travel long distances. As Fry points out, “If these birds are feeding on poisoned prairie dogs, it’s a foregone conclusion that they will die. But it takes 5 to 10 days. They could be hundreds of miles away by then, if they’re on migration.”

To try to assess the prevalence of rodenticide toxicosis in raptors, veterinarian Murray published a study examining Massachusetts Red-tailed Hawks, Barred Owls, Eastern Screech-Owls, and Great Horned Owls that had been admitted to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic between 2006 and 2010. Of 161 birds, 139—a whopping 86 percent—tested positive for anticoagulant rodenticides. Ninety-nine percent of those had brodifacoum in their liver tissues. Yet only nine of these birds displayed sufficient symptoms to lead to a clinical diagnosis of anticoagulant rodenticide poisoning. “The birds that we get in that are clinically showing signs are a very small percentage of the number that are actually affected,” explains Murray. “For us to get a bird, someone has to find it, pick it up, and bring it in. With these rodenticides, it takes a few days for the bird to die—for them to lose so much blood that they can’t fly off.

“But before that, the bird starts feeling unwell. It may hunker down in its roost and not move. It’s possible that a lot of these birds are dying unnoticed.”
Lima was killed by rat poison. Photo by Lincoln Karim.
High-Profile Hawk Poisonings

In 2012, a cluster of Red-tailed Hawk poisonings in Manhattan raised public awareness of the impacts of rodenticide on raptors. One of the casualties was a hawk named Lima (above), the mate of Pale Male—the famous penthousenesting red-tail of New York’s Central Park. (The two are perched together at left.) A necropsy revealed three anticoagulants in Lima’s liver: bromadiolone, brodifacoum, and difethialone.

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine assisted the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation with these investigations and continues to do so through a consultation and surveillance partnership for free-ranging wildlife. Since 2011, the Cornell vet school has confirmed 39 cases of rodenticide deaths in birds—mostly Red-tailed Hawks with several Cooper’s Hawks, a Redshouldered Hawk, a Great Horned Owl, a Snowy Owl, and a Dark-eyed Junco. The Cornell vet school has also worked with NYC Audubon and New York University on reducing rodenticide use on campus, and consulted with the Environmental Protection Agency on their efforts to issue regulations to companies that manufacture rodenticides.

Last year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology joined with NYC Audubon, the American Bird Conservancy, the Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice, and Raptors Are The Solution to file a petition in the state of New York to ban the use of all second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides. The petition was denied by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Indeed, it may well be that the proximate cause of death of a poisoned raptor is something other than the poison. Imagine a sick hawk that is slow to get out of the way of an oncoming car. Or take the case that Lisa Owens Viani describes of a hatch-year Cooper’s Hawk “killed by a kitten” in her neighborhood in August 2013. Suspecting that there was no way a young cat should have been able to take down even a recently fledged hawk, Owens Viani packed the bird’s body on ice and sent it to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for examination by a wildlife pathologist. She says the report came back saying that the cause of death was a puncture wound to the breast, but that brodifacoum and bromodialone were both found in the hawk’s liver tissue. Would the cat have been able to kill this bird if it hadn’t been exposed to anticoagulants? There is no way to know.

A knowledge gap, says Allen Fish, is precisely the trouble. “There’s no clear public record of where we’re putting pesticides, who’s using them, how much is being used. Until we demand that information, we’re flying blind. There needs to be a whole public reckoning of who uses what, and why. We need to track how operators are using [pesticides] and then see if there’s any correlation with animal kills. We don’t know these impacts. We don’t have any data.”

Cynthia Palmer, director of pesticides science and regulation at the American Bird Conservancy, agrees: “I fear that there won’t be enough information to accurately assess the impacts since [the EPA doesn’t] have information on sales at the retail or wholesale levels, and their incident reporting system is quite weak and in desperate need of reform. The reporting thresholds are absurdly high for dead wildlife, 5 raptors, 50 songbirds, or 200 ‘flocking’ birds. Four dead hawks…does not meet the reporting requirement.”
A “Simple” Solution with Tragic Consequences

Rodent baits containing brodifacoum or similar compounds have been marketed to squeamish consumers as a “simple, mess-free solution.” “You don’t have to come in contact with mice to eliminate them from your home,” reads the advertising copy for one product, “because mice take the bait and then leave to die, all you have to do is set the bait and let [it] do the rest.”

Poison baits containing second-generation anticoagulants sound like the perfect solution to those hair-raising skritching noises in the walls at night. “You have a rat problem. You want to kill the rat, but you don’t want it to die in your house. So it was brilliant logic for these companies to develop a poison that causes the rats to get really thirsty and follow their instinct to go outside to get water,” says Fish. “The problem is, there’s an owl out there. It’s hungry. It’s looking around, scanning for prey, and it sees this rat staggering around. Of course it’s going to eat it.”

Infestations of rats and mice have plagued human settlements for millennia, but our efforts at rodent control haven’t always had the far-reaching impacts on wildlife that we see today. Historically, people with rat problems set out baits laced with substances such as arsenic or strychnine. These poisons are very good at killing rats—too good, in fact. Because they are acutely toxic and act fast, a rat that feeds on arsenic-tainted bait will keel over on the spot. The corpse warns off other rats, and the rodent problem remains a problem.

The solution lay in a slower-acting rat poison. In the 1940s, warfarin became a widely used anticoagulant rodenticide that made it much easier to kill pesky rats. Because of the delay between consumption of a lethal dose and death, the rat could feed on poisoned bait and then scurry about its business, dying of internal bleeding somewhere else a few days later. Without a telltale carcass alongside the bait, other rats did not sense any danger and fed freely on the poison.
Barn owl with rat. Photo by Gary Kramer.

Warfarin and the other early anticoagulants have waned in popularity over the decades, though, because the effects of warfarin are chronic, meaning a rodent must feed on poisoned bait several times over the course of about a week. A single dose is usually not enough to kill. Plus, rats and mice can develop resistance to warfarin if the compound is used in one place over a long period.

The second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides solved these problems by acting like a beefed-up, re-engineered warfarin. A single feeding on brodifacoum bait is often enough to kill a rat, but the dying process still takes days. During this time, the doomed, disoriented, and desperate rat makes an easy meal for a hawk.

If the hawk ingests enough poison, it too faces a grisly death. Its internal organs become puddled with blood that just won’t clot. It bleeds out of its mouth. Some hawks, says Fish, have drowned in backyard swimming pools as they try to satisfy their unquenchable thirst.

Raptors will continue to die from second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides despite the EPA’s new controls. Even after online retailers and corner hardware stores have sold the last bait from their existing stock, the second-generation rodenticides will still be sold in bulk at agricultural supply stores.

The EPA’s 2008 decision to restrict consumer access allowed manufacturers three years to comply with new regulations that would “minimize children’s exposure to rodenticide products used in homes” and “reduce wildlife exposures and ecological risks.” To accomplish these goals, the EPA set out two categories of new restrictions. First, the agency required that rodenticides be sold only in a block or paste inside an approved bait station. Making it harder to scatter lethal bait pellets across the basement floor should cut down on accidental poisonings of children and dogs, but may do little to affect indirect transmission of rodenticides to wildlife. That’s where the EPA’s second restriction comes in, the requirement that “general consumers” be limited from directly purchasing second-generation anticoagulants.
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“It’s really good news how it’s turned out, in that at least we’ve gotten the second-generation rodenticides out of the Walmarts and K-Marts where so many people go,” says American Bird Conservancy’s Palmer. “That was a victory for eagles, owls, hawks, and other wildlife, and obviously children and pets as well. But there’s a ways to go. We want to close the loopholes that still exist.”

One of the largest loopholes is the agricultural exemption. In 2007, the EPA proposed restricting the agricultural use of secondgeneration anticoagulants. But the agency’s 2008 Risk Mitigation Decision states that their proposal was met by an outcry from “poultry and livestock producer groups indicating that the proposed requirement would [constitute] a significant burden.” Based on those comments, the EPA concluded that “the benefits of the use of second-generation anticoagulants by poultry and livestock producers outweigh the risks.”

“Even if there are cases where some contained use of rat poison may be justified,” says Fish, “it surely isn’t as many cases as where the stuff is used now.” Until more data are available on where rodenticides are used and how many wild animals are affected, there is no way to know what constitutes a justifiable use.

For that reason, says Palmer, ABC would like to see the whole reporting system revamped. “It’s so rare to find animal kills that even a single death can be the canary in the coal mine. If more deaths were investigated, they could give tremendously useful information about the impact on wildlife and people. And then make this information public so that we can actually use the data to make changes for the better.”
Pest Control Options Save Lives

After finding several raptor carcasses in her Berkeley neighborhood, Lisa Owens Viani turned activist. Appalled at the slow pace of the regulatory process, she decided to see if grassroots action would yield better results. In 2011 she co-founded a coalition called Raptors Are The Solution (RATS) that seeks to educate the public about the ecological dangers of rat poisons. From the start, the organization’s key message was that birds of prey are a fantastic, all-natural form of rodent control. “Lots of people have an appreciation for and an interest in birds of prey,” Owens Viani remarks.

At about the same time, the city of San Francisco was working on the rodenticide issue in response to wildlife poisonings in Golden Gate Park. While waiting for the implementation of the EPA’s 2008 ruling, the city sent out letters to businesses requesting that they stop selling second-generation anticoagulants. Although this was simply a voluntary measure, “they’ve had some really good compliance,” says Owens Viani. In fairly short order, “about thirty businesses…responded saying they’ve taken the stuff off their shelves.”

Following San Francisco’s lead, RATS soon succeeded in getting the city councils of nearby Berkeley, Albany, and Richmond to pass resolutions along the same lines. By spring 2015, 22 cities in California had taken similar steps.

To commend businesses that stop selling and organizations that stop using rat poisons, RATS started the Owl Wise Leaders award program. Recipients of the 35 OWL awards so far include stores, restaurants, Marin County, the San Francisco Recreation and Parks’ Natural Areas Program, and Pepperdine University.

As for the environmentally conscious homeowner with a rodent problem, Palmer points out that “there are many effective, economical, and easy-to-use pest control options that are much better for human health and for wildlife.” (ABC offers a list at saferodentcontrol.org.)

According to Fish, snap traps offer a more humane way to kill rats than a drawn-out and painful death by poison: “Snap-traps are fast and efficient, and have the wonderful added benefit that no raptor is going to come along and eat the rat and get killed.

“But if you could create the perfect rodent trap for your suburban backyard, it’d look like a hawk.”


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