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Journal Articles Conservation Biology Year : 2014

Unintentional Wildlife Poisoning and Proposals for Sustainable Management of Rodents


In Europe, bromadiolone, an anticoagulant rodenticide authorized for plant protection, may be applied intensively in fields to control rodents. The high level of poisoning of wildlife that follows such treatments over large areas has been frequently reported. In France, bromadiolone has been used to control water voles (Arvicola terrestris) since the 1980s. Both regulation and practices of rodent control have evolved during the last 15 years to restrict the quantity of poisoned bait used by farmers. This has led to a drastic reduction of the number of cases of poisoned wildlife reported by the French surveillance network SAGIR. During the autumn and winter 2011, favorable weather conditions and high vole densities led to the staging of several hundreds of Red Kites (Milvus milvus) in the Puy-de-Dôme department (central France). At the same time, intensive treatments with bromadiolone were performed in this area. Although no misuse has been mentioned by the authorities following controls, 28 Red Kites and 16 Common Buzzards (Buteo buteo) were found dead during surveys in November and December 2011. For all these birds, poisoning by bromadiolone as the main cause of death was either confirmed or highly suspected. Other observations suggest a possible impact of bromadiolone on the breeding population of Red Kites in this area during the spring 2011. French regulation of vole control for plant protection is currently under revision, and we believe this event calls for more sustainable management of rodent outbreaks. Based on large-scale experiments undertaken in eastern France, we propose that direct control of voles at low density (with trapping or limited chemical treatments) and mechanical destruction of vole tunnels, mole control, landscape management, and predator fostering be included in future regulation because such practices could help resolve conservation and agricultural issues.

Dates and versions

hal-01074849 , version 1 (15-10-2014)



Michael Coeurdassier, Romain Riols, Anouk Decors, Aymeric Mionnet, Fabienne David, et al.. Unintentional Wildlife Poisoning and Proposals for Sustainable Management of Rodents. Conservation Biology, 2014, 28 (28), pp.315-321. ⟨10.1111/cobi.12230⟩. ⟨hal-01074849⟩
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