Students: Monica Bartos, Stephanie Falzone, Kaitlin Kelly-Reif, Cassandra Vasquez, Jennifer Ward
Client: National Park Service
Advisor: Dr. Travis Longcore
Exposure pathways of non-target species, specifically urban carnivores, to secondary anticoagulant rodenticides were identified in southern California between Bel-Air and the Hollywood hills. Habitat loss and fragmentation characterizes much of the landscape in our study site, causing carnivore home ranges to overlap with development bordering open spaces. Studies in this area have shown that urban carnivores are being exposed to anticoagulant rodenticides, and are reaching harmful biological endpoints including death and increased susceptibility to parasitic diseases. Little is known however about the pathways through which urban carnivores are coming into contact with these chemicals. To identify exposure pathways, we surveyed homeowners regarding their use of rodenticides if any, their knowledge about the effect of these chemicals on wildlife, and demographic information. We found that homeowners are applying second-generation compounds inside and outside their homes, as well as finding dead rodents inside and outside their homes. The Environmental Protection Agency has regulations that would ban the practices currently being used by homeowners in our study area. These new restrictions are not yet in effect, but when they are should substantially decrease the exposure of urban carnivores to anticoagulant rodenticides.