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Perils of illegal marijuana crops

Mourad Gabriel with a CA fisher

Rodenticides used on illegal marijuana farms have already been shown to pose serious harm to the fisher—a cat-sized carnivore found in forests across Canada and four regions in the U.S. (Previous news article.)

Mourad Gabriel, a doctoral candidate with the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, provides a more comprehensive look at the situation in the recent issue of The Wildlife Professional, put out by The Wildlife Society. (Article here.)

New information looks at risks to other species and to the ecologists and biologists conducting wildlife research on community and public lands where more of these crops are being cultivated.

Highlights include: 

  • Newly documented fisher mortalities (necropsies done at UC Davis’ California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System)

  • New data documenting just a glimpse of potential environmental degradation possibly occurring on our public lands

  • First mention of toxicants like carbamates and organochlorides (DDT etc...) that are being found in California grow sites

  • Provides readers with information on how some of these toxicants are placed at grow sites to maliciously poison wildlife

  • New info and discussion points of "what are" the potential effects of ...such as damming water courses, putting toxic slurry of chemicals in dammed creeks, cutting riparian zones, human feces (affects salmon and many other species)

  • First-hand accounts of ecologists and biologists conducting wildlife research being shot at, chased and threatened

  • Quantifies the loss of project area access, and data from fisher projects in California public lands

There is also a link to a video that offers a first account visual representation of what a fisher looks like, the unfortunate visual effects of toxicosis and the realistic outcome to wildlife from these illicit activities on tribal and public lands.

For more information, contact Mourad Gabriel, or Trina Wood, 

Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 1:20 PM


This is a really important story for the future of California's forests and wildlife. Thanks for this profile.

Posted by Susie Kocher on April 3, 2013 at 11:54 AM

I completely agree with Susie here..  
Trina, has hit the nail..this need to be on the priority in California!

Posted by puns on April 17, 2013 at 3:21 AM

Uh, uh.. This is bad. The growers should make sure that they are not using harmful chemicals that may destroy the soil and the environment. The government should take action on this, so that growing of medical marijuana will be done in a harmless way.

Posted by Dash Thomas on December 26, 2014 at 12:32 AM

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