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Our next meeting will be Monday, April 15th, 7PM at the Caspar Community Center 15051 Caspar Rd, Caspar, CA 95420.

Our program will be about RATS, Raptors Are The Solution , a Project of Earth Island Institute, educates people about the ecological role of birds of prey in urban and wild areas and about the danger they and other wildlife face from the widespread use of rat poison.

RATS was formed in 2011 after Cooper's hawks began dying on the streets of Berkeley, CA after ingesting poisoned rodents. We stepped into a gap, educating people about the dangers of rat poison in the food web not being filled by any other nonprofit, large or small. Today, we partner with other NGOs, agencies, scientists, municipalities, and individuals to work toward eliminating toxic rodenticides from the food web. Through our Owl Wise Leader Program, we incentivize businesses, municipalities, and communities to stop using poison and switch to non-toxic methods of rodent control.

California and other states are experiencing an epidemic of wildlife deaths due to rat poison. When rat poison makes its way up the food chain, when predatory animals eat rodents that have been poisoned, they too are poisoned, and either die or become very ill and succumb to diseases they could ordinarily survive. Rat poison can also weaken these animals, making them less able to thrive.

Throughout California, hawks, owls, vultures, foxes, fishers, weasels, skunks, bears, mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes (among others) have been poisoned. Mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes are all falling victim to mange, due to their immune systems being compromised, new studies show that rat poison can impact the genes that regulate the immune system.

Although the state of California removed some of the worst poisons from consumer shelves in 2014, animals are still dying and being sickened because the pest control industry was exempted from the rules and because consumers are still allowed to use a variety of other poisons. The rare Pacific fisher is being decimated from the rampant use of rat poison on illegal trespass marijuana grows in state and federal forests.

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