Co-op Becomes an Owl Wise Leader
The Davis Food Co-op will be presented with an Owl Wise Leader conservation award by Raptors Are The Solution, A Project of Earth Island Institute, on Friday, July 8, 2016, at 11:30 a.m. The award honors the Co-op for switching from rat poison, which harms owls, hawks, and other wildlife, to traps to control rodents.
The Davis Food Co-Op is also changing their landscaping to be less rodent-friendly as part of a multi-phase sustainability project that will install water-wise, drought-tolerant, and pollinator-friendly, native plants, as well as rain gardens and other features, says Bija Young, Facility Manager with the Co-op.
This award is the second presented in Davis—the first went to Hibbert Lumber in 2015. Hibbert Lumber stopped selling rat poison after a barn owl was poisoned nearby.
Bija Young says she decided to switch to an integrated pest management company to help improve the local environment: “It was apparent to me that making the switch to an integrated pest management company that takes a holistic approach to rodent abatement was much more in line with our values as an organization.”
John McNerney, Wildlife Resource Specialist with the City of Davis, who works to protect owls and other wildlife in the city, says “I’m so very pleased to see the Davis Food Co-op become a business leader in the effort to eliminate rodenticide use in the city. We know that rodenticides, especially those used by commercial pest control companies, frequently kill non-target wildlife like hawks and owls. I am hopeful that the Co-op’s actions will inspire other local businesses and property managers to stop using rodenticides and implement non-toxic pest control methods.”
The award will be presented to the Davis Co-op by the founders of Raptors Are The Solution, along with several Davis residents who are also RATS volunteers. Davis City Council members and students from Birch Lane Elementary (who recently gave a presentation about the effects of rat poison on owls to the council) have been invited.