ST. GEORGE — Wildlife in Grand Canyon National Park are dying from rodenticide poison, according to a news release issued by the National Park Service.

The use of rodenticide (rodent poison) is prohibited in Grand Canyon National Park. Rodenticides are chemicals used to kill rodents (mice, rats, etc.).

Unfortunately, rodenticides cause harm to unintended wildlife, pets and humans, and can contaminate the environment. Wildlife can become sick and die from ingesting these poisons. Over the last few years, bobcats, coyotes, fox, mule deer and chipmunks have died from having been exposed to rodenticides.

These animals are not the targets, but are dying after ingesting unapproved and inappropriately used rodent poisons. It is unknown how many other animals may have died because of these poisons, the news release states.

Rodenticides can linger in the food chain for several weeks, and cause additional
animals to die from eating rodenticide-poisoned animals. As scavengers of dead
animals, condors are very susceptible to rodenticide poisoning Condors are one of
the world’s most endangered animals and a symbol of the Grand Canyon.

A flying condor, date and location not specified | Photo courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

“They deserve our protection and a landscape free of rodenticides,” the news release states.

Rodenticides are also a serious concern when used around children, in whom it may cause serious illness and death.

Because of these concerns and risks, the use of rodenticides is prohibited in Grand Canyon, except by appropriate park officials during specific situations where rodenticides are deemed appropriate to mitigate immediate risk of disease transmission.

“We need to work together and take responsibility to ensure that these preventable deaths do not happen here at Grand Canyon,” the release states. “Please do not use rodenticides, and if you currently have rodenticides at your home or place of work, we will pick-up and remove these poisons, no questions asked.”

There are free, rodent kits available for check-out that will help you safely address rodents in your home or workplace. These kits are designed to provide you with supplies and guidance for safely eliminating and removing rodent pests, while protecting yourself from diseases, such as hantavirus, associated with rodents.

For more information about rodenticides, checking out a rodent kit, or to arrange pickup or drop-off of rodenticides contact: Brandon Holton, wildlife biologist, or Brady Dunne, IPM wildlife biologist.