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Florida Panthers Face New Deadly Threat: Poison

Roadway collisions have killed many endangered Florida panthers over the years, but rat poison is the latest obstacle pushing the state animal of Florida toward extinction.

According to a report from the Center for Biological Diversity, this conclusion from the Environmental Protection Agency comes after analyzing 11 active ingredients in rodenticide products.

The rodenticide products analyzed are overwhelmingly used by pest control companies, residential consumers and for agricultural purposes.

“Rat poisons wreak havoc up and down the food chain by unintentionally poisoning wildlife, leading to disease, internal bleeding and death,” said Jonathan Evans, environmental health legal director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “This is an important step forward, but we hope the EPA continues to strengthen efforts to ensure endangered wildlife like the Florida panther, black-footed ferrets and California condors are fully protected from these deadly poisons.”

The EPA is trying to mitigate the harm caused by the analyzed rodenticides by requiring bait to be placed in tamper-resistant bait boxes. Theoretically, this would lessen non-target animals, such as Florida panthers, from eating the poison-laced bait.

Also, the use of the assessed rodenticides in the habitat of endangered species should be limited. Another proposal made by the EPA would ideally keep high-level predators safe from the poison-laced food source by making those who use the poison collect the dead rodents.

Humans are also affected by rodenticide poisoning. In 2021, the American Association of Poison Control Centers reported more than 8,500 cases of human poisoning. That includes more than 8,000 cases of children getting poisoned.

Source: Wink News

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Leonard Maxwell

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