OJEDA valeria Susana
Test Patagonia’s raptors for rodenticides
SAGGESE, MIGUEL D.; PLAZA, PABLO; CASALINS, LAURA; ORTIZ, GALA; OJEDA, VALERIA (AUTORA CORRESPONDENCIA)
AMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE
Año: 2022 vol. 377 p. 1054 - 1054
Thousandsof owls and other predators die each year globallyas unintentional victims of rodent control with anticoagulantrodenticides (ARs); poisoned rodents become easy prey for them (1,2).InArgentina, ARs are widely used (3). However, information on thisimportant wildlife conservation threat is scant. Recently, massiveowl mortalities occurred inearly 2020 in a protected area of Northwestern Argentine Patagonia.The periodic mast seeding of bamboos triggers rapid rodent outbreaks,including reservoirs of the zoonotic ANDV(sur), a Hantavirus lethalfor humans (4). Owls and other predators irrupt into the affectedareas, due to increased prey (5). Local inhabitants perceive theserodent outbreaks as an increased risk for Hantavirus transmission,which promotes unbridled sale and use of ARs by public without anyauthoritys control. Althoughthe clinicaland epidemiological presentation of this mortality event and necropsyresults made ARs secondary poisoning as the most probable diagnosis,laboratory confirmation was lacking. InArgentina, toxicology laboratories do not test for comprehensive ARsdetection. Furthermore, restrictions due to sanitary risks preventedexportation of fresh tissue samples to overseas toxicology labs,hampering collaborative efforts and confirmation of this presumptivediagnosis. Recognitionof the impacts of ARs on wildlife elsewhere has provided the evidenceneeded for the implementation of corrective measures (1,6).Therefore, we urge Argentine wildlife and health authorities, and thescientific community, to strengthen local capacities to test for ARsin this country. Theressupport bothfrom veterinary and human medicinethat this problem affects other non-target subjects beyondwildlife, with the same analytical limitations (7). This deficiencyneedsurgent correction, with commitment of all stakeholders, in order toallow surveillance of ARs impacts on wildlife and human health,better enforcement of regulation and use of ARs, and the applicationof mitigation measures.