A new study says rat poison from pot farms in California forests appears to be poisoning endangered Northern spotted owls.


Northern spotted owls (Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A new study says rat poison from pot farms in California forests appears to be poisoning endangered Northern spotted owls.

Scientists for the University of California at Davis and the California Academy of Sciences published the study Thursday in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology.

Researchers found that seven out of 10 endangered Northern spotted owls found dead in Northern California’s pot-growing region tested positive for rat poison.

Forty-percent of another species, called barred owls, also tested positive for the rat poison.

Pot farms use rat poison to keep rodents away from their irrigation systems and crops.

Study lead author Mourad Gabriel says he’s concerned that the poisoning of wildlife will increase now that California has legalized recreational marijuana.

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