We’re stoked and proud to announce that Cape To Cape Explorer Tours has joined owl conservation efforts by becoming an “owl friendly hero”. We’ve chipped in to fund the efforts of local group Owl Friendly Margaret River Region. And we’re helping to raise awareness about how common rat poisons can kill our precious local wildlife. Pictured below, right is CCET founder Gene Hardy accepting the hero’s plaque from Owl Friendly director Boyd Wykes.
More about Owl Friendly Margaret River Region
The volunteer group is tackling an insidious problem. That is, poisoning of nocturnal birdlife and other fauna by rodenticides. One the birds under threat from poisoning is the Masked Owl. Until recently, few knew that the Augusta-Margaret River Region is a stronghold for the Masked Owl, a large forest relative of the Barn Owl. The nocturnal hunter feeds on possums, phascogales and rabbits. But its primarily food source is introduced black rats and house mice. Choosing wildlife-friendly methods of controlling rats and mice is an important way that you can make our region a safe haven.
How rodenticides harm wildlife
Rodenticides directly harm native wildlife such as bush rats, quenda and possums as well as their intended target of introduced rodents. And they indirectly harm many more through “secondary poisoning”. Evidence is mounting that rodent baits are eaten not only by the obvious candidates but also reptiles and invertebrates such as insects.
This means that wildlife at risk of secondary poisoning includes owls, phascogales, brush-tailed possum, quenda, chuditch, mardo, dunnart, daytime birds of prey and insectivorous birds. Even if not directly killed by internal haemorrhaging, wildlife that ingest rodenticides are more likely to hunt unsuccessfully. They are also more like to become ill. Or be slow and sluggish, meaning they are more easily killed on roads.
How you can help
You can help minimise the risk to wildlife by using methods other than baits to control rats and mice. If resorting to a bait, using only those that are least harmful. And thoughtfully store and place baits so that children, pets and wildlife such as possums and quenda in your garden can’t reach them.
For more information, see Owl Friendly Margaret River Region and please help minimise the risk to wildlife if you can!