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Dead Bobcat Found in Topanga
August 22, 2013 - ญญญญญBy Annemarie Donkin
PHOTO BY MOLLY KRONBERG
Sick bobcat found on a tree stump near Deerhill Trail off of Arteique Road in
Topanga. Concerned residents also found two dead raccoons, a dead squirrel and
many dead rats in the area; likely as a cause of dangerous anti-coalgulant rotenticide.
Concerned residents of Arteique Road found a dead bobcat on Aug. 5 in an open lot on their street.
It was not immediately clear if it was the same sick bobcat that had been spotted and photographed a few days earlier near Deerhill Trail.
Regardless, several wildlife experts believe the bobcat died of notoedric mange associated with anticoagulant rat poison exposure.
During the same week the residents on Arteique also found two dead raccoons on the Boulevard, a dead squirrel on the trail and several dead rats near metal containers filled with poison.
According to wildlife experts, the bobcat could possibly have been ingesting poisoned rodents and developed the mange as a result.
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control was notified of the death after the bobcats body was bagged.
The number of dead animals we have been spotting here has been a concern, said Arteique resident Molly Kronberg. She took a photo of the sick bobcat and it could possibly be the same one that was found dead.
I have lived here 13 years, and have never seen so much sickness and dying in one week, she said. None of these animals are injured, it looks like they have been poisoned; we also have a concern about dogs and cats getting into rat poison.
Wildlife biologist Laurel Serieys of Urban Carnivores.com does research on notoedric mange in carnivores in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Serieys comprehensive website informs the public about research being done on native carnivores in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties by UCLA and National Park Service biologists.
There is not just one person putting out poisons, Serieys said. For the people in Topanga, it is an issue, because so many people are using poisons and the wildlife is being exposed to anticoagulants, including bobcats. The Park Service also found mountain lions and coyotes and grey foxes; this is not an isolated case.
Serieys hopes to bring attention caused by exposure to rat poison and gain support in mitigating human the impact on bobcats.
Some Topanga residents feel the problem is getting worse because of the use of rat poison instead of traditional rat traps.
People are afraid to use the snap traps, but the cleanup still has to happen, said Arteique resident Bryce Anderson. The rodents die [from poison] and have to be cleaned up. By the same token, its killing the predators. There is only going to be an explosion of rodents; they are killing the predators that are keeping them in check and only making the problem worse.
For more information on bobcats, mountain lions and the effects of anti-coagulant rat poisons on wildlife, go to Urbancarnivores.com.