Rodenticides killing California hawks
The widespread use of rodenticides, which are used across the United States to kill rodents, is indirectly also responsible for the declining number of California hawks.
Researchers noted that many of the rodenticides are designed to act slowly so that a rat and mouse eat it, returns to its nest and kill the whole colony. But, rodents that have eaten the poison continue to stroll around, appealing to raptors like California hawks.
California hawks are one of the many species that were previously in danger during the 1960s and 70s due the widespread use of DDT. The chemical affected raptors and many other species which experienced egg shell thinning because of their exposure to DDT. A steep contraction in their populations forced government to ban DDT, which helped raptors in making a gradual come back.
Now, rodenticides that work slowly over time are ending up poisoning hawks and other species that eat the rodents like rats and mice, the real targets of the poison. Researchers found that a connection between declining populations of raptors and use of rodenticides in areas like agriculture fields and food storage facilities.
Apart from raptors, rodenticides are also jeopardizing housecats, bobcats, and a range of other creatures.
Effectiveness, easy availability and low prices are some of the main reasons behind the growing use of rodenticides in California and other states of the U. S. Hawks play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of ecosystem by doing what they do best - killing rats and other rodents that harm our agricultural produce.
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