Owls Dying Near Marijuana Farms (Here’s Why)

Live Science

If asked, spotted owls would likely vote against marijuana legalization.

New research reveals that several species, including the Northern spotted owl, are succumbing to rat poison from thousands of “unpermitted private grow sites” in the northwestern counties of Humboldt, Mendocino, and Del Norte.

It’s the contamination of the owls’ primary food source—mice and rats, which, like humans, are attracted to the aromatic crop—that has proven to be the animals’ undoing: Scientists from University of California, Davis, and the California Academy of Sciences have detected traces of anticoagulant rodenticide in seven of the 10 Northern spotted owls they collected, according to a study published today in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology.

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