Five owls died of poisoning over six months in B.C. (Yutaka Seki/Flickr)

Twice as many owls dying from rat poison: B.C. government

Delta’s raptor care centre says the owls are eating poisoned mice and rats

The number of owls dying of poisoning in B.C. more than doubled over a six-month period, according to the agriculture ministry.

Five of the owls that were necropsied from October to January had likely fatal traces of rat poison, the province told Black Press Media, compared to just two between June 2016 and July 2017.

Two owls died of poisoning in North Vancouver, while one was in Stanley Park and two were in Greater Victoria.

A sixth owl, not submitted to the ministry, died of poisoning in South Surrey in December.

Caitlin Folvik, a raptor care assistant at Delta’s Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, said the facility has seen a spike in non-fatal poisonings too.

Folvik points to the uptick in development around Metro Vancouver, as mice and rats in clearcuts rush to find shelter in the bushes and trees on people’s properties.

READ: More barred owls sightings in Vancouver bad news for rats and mice

Residents leave out poison to take care of the pests, but Folvik said rats don’t die right away after consuming the poison.

“They start to act kind of drunk and are easier for the owls to pick off.”

Other ways to get prevent a rat infestation include blocking any holes they might use to get into your house, and then if they do, to use snap traps or electric traps.

“There’s some people who use a bucket with a dowel and then the bucket falls and traps the mouse,” Folvik added.

“Coyote or fox urine can act as a deterrent too and people can buy that at hunting and game stores.”

Poisoned owls can often be saved, Folvik said. If you see one acting strangely, call the society’s 24/7 raptor rescue line at 604-946-3171.

“Lots of times, they end up getting themselves in trees and the look very sleepy and kind of dopey,” she said. “They act like they’re drunk, they wobble. Or you’ll find them drinking lots and lots of water.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Parent concerned over privacy breach is a candidate for Chilliwack school board

Brian Mielke said sharing of student names with U.S. research firm shows trustees disregarding law

Chilliwack athletes run in the rain at first cross-country race

Dozens of elementary/middle/high schoolers tackled a mucky course next to Twin Rinks last Thursday.

Fraser River First Nations say they aren’t getting their share of sockeye

Shortage is a result of decisions made by DFO, not a shortage of sockeye, complaint says

Chilliwack Chiefs benefit from BCHL Showcase exposure

Carter Wilkie’s first BCHL goal Saturday against Wenatchee earned him talks with several NCAA scouts.

Surging Okanagan Sun stop slumping Valley Huskers

A blocked punt set the tone for the Sun in a BC Football Conference game at the Apple Bowl.

Video: Flyers new mascot ‘Gritty’ a bearded, googly-eyed terror

The Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their new mascot Monday, and as one would expect of the team that gave us the “Broad Street Bullies,” he’s far from cuddly.

Edmonton cannabis company revenues more than triples to $19.1 million

Aurora Cannabis revenues more than triple in fourth quarter

B.C. pharmacist suspended for giving drugs with human placenta

RCMP had samples of the seized substances tested by Health Canada

Seattle one step closer to NHL after arena plan approved

Seattle City Council unanimously approved plans for a privately funded $700 million renovation of KeyArena

Harvest Moon to light up B.C. skies with an ‘autumn hue’

It’s the first moon after the autumn equinox

Hockey league gets $1.4M for assistance program after Humboldt Broncos crash

Program will help players, families, coaches and volunteers after the shock of the deadly crash

Canada has removed six out of 900 asylum seekers already facing U.S. deportation

Ottawa had said the ‘overwhelming majority’ had been removed

Appeal pipeline decision but consult Indigenous communities, Scheer says

The federal appeals court halted the Trans Mountain expansion last month

Most Read