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    Author(s): Craig M. Thompson; Mourad W  Gabriel; Kathryn L. Purcell
    Date: 2017
    Source: The Wildlife Professional. 11(3): 42-46
    Publication Series: Magazines or Trade Publications
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (515.0 KB)


    Frozen in the act of scavenging dinner, the vulture’s head lay on the fox’s abdomen, covering the hole it had been attempting to enlarge. When biologists pulled the bird away, they found not only a healthy looking, though dead, fox underneath, but also scores of insects scattered around. Less than a mile away the scene was repeated. This time the dead animal was a black bear, again with a vulture lying on top of it and numerous insects scattered nearby.

    These two scenes, which biologists found during raids conducted last year in California’s Lassen National Forest on “trespass marijuana grow sites,”highlight the broad and gruesome nature of wildlife poisoning associated with illegal marijuana cultivation on public, tribal, state and private lands across the United States. Today, growers use a wide variety of legal and illegal toxicants to protect the crop from rodents chewing irrigation lines and omnivores raiding food supplies.

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    Thompson, Craig M.; Gabriel, Mourad W; Purcell, Kathryn L. 2017. An ever-changing ecological battlefield: marijuana cultivation and toxicant use in western forests. The Wildlife Professional. 11(3): 42-46.

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