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Your View is YourArlington's only blog. It is the site's place for opinion. To publish here, you must use your full name in most cases.

Owls, rats and rat poison

UPDATED June 26: The following viewpoint about owls and rat poison was written by Liz Reisberg, in collaboration with Carol Band, Dana Cooperson and Peggy Gardiner. In photo, Diane Welch, the town's animal-control officer, at the May Spring Fling, tells kids about owls.
Diane Welch, animal-control officer, shows an owl to children in May 22o

When two Great Horned Owls courted, nested, and produced two babies in Menotomy Rocks Park, visitors to the park were thrilled. Many in the neighborhood came daily in the hope of an owl spotting and watched with great pleasure as the fledglings began to leave the nest. Heartbreak followed when three owls were found dead. 

Although this has not been proven, it is likely that rat poison led to this tragedy. Eagles on Mystic Lake and other raptors in our area have been killed after consuming poisoned rats. Other forms of wildlife have been also affected. Poison is bad for the environment, bad for wildlife, and not the best way to control the rat population—just the easiest.  

The recent loss of the owls has provoked a lot of town wide discussion about the use of poisons. Sadly, and ironically, consumption of poisoned rats is killing rat predators, so we are eliminating one of nature’s ways of controlling these pests. 

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