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Brodifacoum – an interesting case study of when poison programs go wrong

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The Bald Eagle – National Bird of the USA

An interesting and topical article has appeared in Nature this year. The article details a disastrous rat eradication program on an Alaskan island which resulted in the deaths of 420 birds including 46 endangered Bald Eagles. Click here to read the article.

We have already warned of the potential dangers of using poison to control mice on your property, and this article refers to the same chemical found in household rat poisons – brodifacoum.

Of course, the complicating factors of a large-scale eradication program like the one detailed in the article (and this one was also spectacularly mismanaged with several poor and inexplicable decisions made) are completely different to small-scale use in the home, but some principles remain the same.

Once the chemical is present in the food chain, it can accumulate and have unexpected effects.