Safe rodent management

Caring for our island owls and other birds of prey

 

During the cooler months, you may hear the calls of the Mopoke (Southern Boobook) and Tawny Frogmouth at night. The island is also visited by the endangered Powerful owl. However they are dying across Australia due to eating rats and mice that have eaten rat or mouse baits. The toxins stay in their organs for months and even years so that when they rely on their fat reserves the toxins stored in their body become too much to tolerate and they die.

 

What we can do to help is to reduce dependence on poison baits:

  • consider other, non-poison pest control, like snap traps,

  • only put out baits when you actually need to,

  • read the labels on any poisons you buy and make the change to first generation anticoagulant rodenticides (FGARs) or other alternatives. Look for active ingredients like Warfarin (Ratsak Double-strength) and Coumatetralyl (Racumin) or natural constituents like Sodium Chloride (Ratsak Natural)

  • leave second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) behind on the supermarket shelf.

 

Make your house and garden less friendly for rodents:

  • seal potential roof/wall cavity access points that rodents might be using

  • pick up any fallen fruit, 

  • ensure excess pet food isn’t accessible,

  • rodent-proof chook pens and aviaries,

  • replace rat-friendly palms with owl-friendly natives, and

  • tidy up garden waste and limit access to compost heaps

  • retain large old trees for their hollows to provide nesting places

 

by Ana Pollak

 

For the citizen scientists out there, Hoot Detective is a program for you to help scientists identify owls from sound recordings. There are audio references to help you identify the each species.

 

https://hootdetective.net.au/

Pollak_Bill's sleeping Frogmouth 20190921DI.jpg

Photo: Bill Lynn-Robinson