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Mountain Lion's Death "Rousing" Call for Rat Poison Ban, Bloom Says

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

By Jorge Casuso

May 2, 2019 -- The death in March of a mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains should serve as a rallying cry for stronger protections against rat poisons, Assemblymember Richard Bloom said Thursday.

The March 21 death the lion dubbed P-47 after ingesting rat poison comes as the Santa Monica lawmaker's bill -- AB 1788 -- banning "rodenticides" makes its way through the legislature.

P-47 Mountain Lion
Mountail Lion P-47 (Photo courtesy Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)

“The recent death of P-47 illustrates the pressing need for stronger measures to protect children, pets, and wildlife from unintentional rodenticide poisoning," Bloom told the Lookout.

"I hope that if any good comes of P-47’s death, it’s that Californians are roused to action.”

Bloom's bill would make California the first state to ban certain rat poisons that pose a "rampant threat" to pets and wildlife, Bloom said.

The bill passed the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee on April 9.

On Tuesday, National Park Service officials announced that the three-year-old mountain lion had died after being exposed to six different anticoagulant compounds found in rat poison.

Ranger Ana Beatriz said researchers believe mountain lions are exposed through "secondary or tertiary poisoning."

P-47 found dead

That occurs when the lion eats "an animal that ate the poisonous bait, such as a ground squirrel, or an animal that ate an animal that consumed the poisonous bait, such as a coyote," Beatriz said in a Facebook post.

P-64, a mountain lion that survived the Woolsey Fire last year, also had six different anticoagulant compounds in his liver when he was found dead December 7, Beatriz said.

Anticoagulant rodenticide compounds have been found in 21 out of 22 local mountain lions that have been tested, including in a three-month-old kitten, she said.

According to the California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), rodenticides have been found in 27 species of birds and 17 species of mammals, including some endangered species such as the Northern Spotted Owl.

AB 1788 would expand Bloom's 2014 ban on the use of rodenticides in wildlife areas and parks and strengthen enforcement efforts by the state to limit their use to licensed pest control applicators, Bloom said.

“After many years of studying the impacts of these chemicals, we know that these poisons pose a serious threat to our public health and to wildlife,” the former Santa Monica mayor said.

“Earlier efforts to limit their use have done little to stem the threat so our only recourse is an immediate ban,” he said.

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