2013 Fire Restirctions
Due to high fire danger, fire and smoking restrictions are now in effect on all National Park Service land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. For details, please download the public notice or call 805-370-2301. More »
Update on Park Closures
All NPS trails are open at Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa! Currently, this park site is only open sunrise to sunset.
Bobcats: Living on the Urban Edge Risks and Alternatives to Anticoagulants
What are anticoagulants?
Anticoagulants are substances that prevent blood coagulation; that is, they stop blood from clotting. Often, pest-controlling chemicals intended to kill rats and other rodents, contain anticoagulant chemicals (e.g. brodificoum, diphacinone, warfarin, bromadialone, etc.) that cause fatal internal bleeding when consumed. Anticoagulant poisoning is not obvious for several days after the poison has been consumed but eventually it will cause internal bleeding and death.
Who's at risk?
Both pets and wildlife are susceptible to anticoagulant poisoning. They may be poisoned by eating rodenticide directly, sometimes mistaking pellets for kibbled pet food, or indirectly by consuming a dead or dying rodent that has eaten the poison. Brodifacoum and other commonly used rodenticides are currently under review by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to concerns about potential harmful effects on wildlife and the accidental poisonings of pets and children.
Consequences of Anticoagulants at the Urban Edge
During the course of this study, 31 of 39 bobcats that died tested positive for anticoagulant poisoning. Being strict carnivores, biologists believe these bobcats acquired the poison indirectly by preying on rodents that had been poisoned. These poisons are often put out to control rodent populations around homes, apartment or office complexes, and golf courses. Bobcats are not the only wildlife that area affected by anticoagulant poisoning. Coyotes and mountain lions are also susceptible to the poison.
Alternatives to Rodenticides
Controlling rodents with poisons may seem like quick and easy, however, safer and more environmentally friendly options are available:
Wild Wing Company
Did You Know?
Four state parks were the triumph of a grassroots movement to protect open spaces minutes from Los Angeles in the 1950s & 60s. Three women, Sue Nelson, Jill Swift, and Margo Feuer further galvanized the movement that helped make Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area a reality in 1978.