Home Australia Mice and rats ‘runt walking time bombs’ for hungry raptors

Mice and rats ‘runt walking time bombs’ for hungry raptors

Mice and rats ‘runt walking time bombs’ for hungry raptors

A protracted-term safe out about has stumbled on high ranges of rat poison in wedge-tailed eagles, suggesting that the toxins are having a huge affect on the food chain.

Key points:

  • Rat poison has been gift in 74 per cent of boring wedge-tailed eagles in Tasmania
  • A safe out about finds the eagles perform sometimes exhaust rats and mice, so the poison needs to be coming from animals that exhaust rodents
  • Diversified extensive birds and mammals comparable to quolls and Tasmanian devils are also at possibility

The University of Tasmania be taught, spanning more than twenty years and launched in Might likely maybe this yr, is the first systematic safe out about of rat poisons in an Australian high predator.

Early Newspaper

It known poison in 74 per cent of 50 boring wedge-tailed eagles gift in Tasmania.

Concentrations of brodifacoum, a total rat poison which causes inside bleeding, used to be four times elevated than previously reported in eagles in a foreign nation.

See chief James Pay acknowledged wedge-tailed eagles did not sometimes prey on mice and rats, so the poison needs to be entering  their programs by diversified draw.

“So a rat eats the poison, and then things admire forest ravens exhaust the rat, and then the forest raven will get sick or dies, and then a wedge-tailed eagle eats the forest raven,” he acknowledged.

A man with arm outstretched releases a wedge-tailed eagle in mid-air

James Pay releases a wedge-tailed eagle.(

Equipped: Jason Wiersma


Second-technology poisons in the combine

The safe out about also implicated legit pest take care of watch over and agriculture.

High concentrations of rat poison were gift in eagles closest to agricultural land while flacoumafen – a poison most productive readily available in the market through wholesalers – used to be gift in merely about half of of the sampled birds.

“To have such high exposures to flacoumofen suggests that there may be a hyperlink between agricultural exercise and these [poisons] ending up in wedge-tailed eagles,” Dr Pay acknowledged.

Birdlife Australia raptor specialist Prick Mooney acknowledged a substantial portion of the difficulty stemmed from the usage of 2d-technology poisons.

A slender, older man with a neat grey beard inspects a taxidermied masked owl.

Raptor specialist Prick Mooney inspects a masked owl, one in every of many animals inclined to secondary rodenticide poisoning.(

ABC Rural: David Barnott-Clement


“The first-technology [poisons] are not as extremely efficient because the 2d technology,” he acknowledged.

“Second-technology honest draw the indispensable newer, more aggressive poisons, and they’re incessantly advertised as ‘single-dose most productive’ — those forms of claims.

“As a consequence of these poisons possess some time to execute the rodents, the rodents can … exhaust some distance more poison than they honestly would like to execute themselves.

A wedge-tailed eagle sits in the middle of its nest high in a eucalypt.

Even supposing rodents are not incessantly preyed on by wedge-tailed eagles, the birds have peaceable been stumbled on with traces of rat poison.(

Equipped: James Pay


Now not honest eagles

Mr Mooney warned wedge-tailed eagles were not the greatest animals struggling from rat poisons — birds and animals that ate poisoned rats and mice admire hawks, owls, magpies, tawny frogmouths,  quolls and Tasmanian devils were all at possibility.

“There is nothing barely so ubiquitous as a …food as a mouse or a rat,” he acknowledged.

The information comes because the mouse plague in eastern Australia enters its eighth month, and because the Novel South Wales authorities seeks approval from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to distribute 10,000 litres of bromadiolone to farmers across the utter.

Described as “napalm” for mice, Dr Pay believes the untargeted exercise of 2d-technology poisons admire bromadiolone may likely well furthermore spell concern, not honest for wedge-tailed eagles, but one thing else that eats rodents or the baits feeble to execute them.

“Or not it’s stunning touching on,” he acknowledged.

Two tawny frogmouths on their perches peering through foliage.

Two tawny frogmouths on perches at Bonorong Natural world Sanctuary.(

ABC Rural: David Barnott-Clement


Handiest ‘scratching the ground’

Bonorong Natural world Sanctuary treats sick and injured raptors, along with wedge-tails, as a minimal as soon as every week. Greg Irons owns and runs the industry and acknowledged secondary poisoning used to be a trouble largely hidden from peep, and therefore from mind. 

A man leans on a wooden post while talking to a reporter.

Bonorong Natural world Sanctuary director Greg Irons.(

ABC News


“We indubitably safe when there may be an amplify in mice there may be an amplify in poisoning instances as successfully,” he acknowledged.

“I will not stress ample, I mediate we’re scratching completely the ground when we disclose, ‘OK, or not it’s most productive X amount per yr,’ those are most productive those we know about and it’s indispensable, indispensable elevated than any of us admire to mediate.”

Mr Irons acknowledged it used to be a topic of educating those that feeble rat poisons.

“I would disclose stunning confidently that 90 per cent of oldsters who I’ve talked to about this trouble hadn’t in actuality conception to be as secondary poisoning, but are very attentive to baits being doubtlessly very unhealthy,” he acknowledged.

A masked owl with suspected rodenticide poisoning lies unconscious attached to medical machinery.

A masked owl with suspected rodenticide poisoning receiving remedy at Bonorong Natural world Sanctuary. It did not continue to exist.(

Equipped: Bonorong Natural world Sanctuary


Mr Mooney agreed rodenticides were an efficient management tool and did have a aim to play on the farm, but their exercise needs to be restricted to first-technology poisons.

“When there may be a correct plague and there are critically high numbers, yes, chemical compounds are incessantly foremost, but we’re honest asking other folks to mediate demanding about it and rush for the least mistaken poisons.”

Mice and rats ‘runt walking time bombs’ for hungry raptors