Considering their deep-forest habitat, fishers should be safe from rodenticides, but this study shows how urban environmental problems were brought into the wilderness.

CDFW Wildlife Investigations Lab Blog

A peer-reviewed paper released today in the online journal PLoS One documents deaths due to anticoagulant rodenticides in fishers, an elusive forest carnivore in the weasel family.  The study shows that a high percentage of fishers tested have been exposed to these rodenticides.

The study was led by UC Davis, and involved researchers from the nonprofit Integral Ecology Research Center, UC Berkeley, United States Forest Service, Wildlife Conservation Society, Hoopa Tribal Forestry, and the California Department of Fish and Game’s Wildlife Investigation Lab.

The research team was surprised by their findings because fishers live in the mature forests of the national forests, national parks, private timberland and tribal community lands – nowhere near urban or agricultural areas where one might expect to find evidence of rodenticide use.

Examination of the areas where exposed fishers lived shows that their habitat overlaps with illegal marijuana…

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