There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.
ObjectiveMarijuana (Cannabis spp.) growing operations (MGO) in California have increased substantially since the
mid-1990s. One environmental side-effect of MGOs is the extensive use of anticoagulant
rodenticides (AR) to prevent damage to marijuana plants caused by wild rodents. In
association with a long-term demographic study, we report on an observation of brodifacoum
AR exposure in a threatened species, the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina), found freshly dead within 669–1347 m of at least seven active MGOs.ResultsLiver and blood samples from the dead northern spotted owl were tested for 12 rodenticides.
Brodifacoum was the only rodenticide detected in the liver (33.3–36.3 ng/g) and blood
(0.48–0.54 ng/ml). Based on necropsy results, it was unclear what role brodifacoum
had in the death of this bird. However, fatal AR poisoning has been previously reported
in owls with relatively low levels of brodifacoum residues in the liver. One likely
mechanism of AR transmission from MGOs to northern spotted owls in California is through
ingestion of AR contaminated prey that frequent MGOs. The proliferation of MGOs with
their use of ARs in forested landscapes used by northern spotted owls may pose an
additional stressor for this threatened species.Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article (10.1186/s13104-018-3206-z) contains supplementary
material, which is available to authorized users.
Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
International License (
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided
you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link
to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons
Public Domain Dedication waiver (
http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100006959, U.S. Forest Service;