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

Four-hour ferry delay on Buckley Bay-Denman Island route

BC Ferries reported the cable ferry is experiencing issues with the head shieve.

Air quality statement in effect for Comox Valley

Smokey skies could mean a high risk on the air quality health index

Additional funds allocated to over-budget Cumberland fire hall design

Council approved the addition of $125,000 for pre-construction work

Local musicians inducted into Comox Valley Walk of Achievement

Seven local musicians have earned their spot among some of the Comox… Continue reading

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Comox resident part of famed basketball team

Kay MacRitchie MacBeth played guard for Edmonton Grads

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Vehicle catches fire near Vancouver Island provincial park

Fire shut down Highway 4 in both directions

Most Read