Local wildlife center urges action against rodenticide threat to Valley coyotes

Jan 22, 2024, 4:25 AM

PHOENIX — A wildlife conservation center is urging a reduction of rodenticide use as a concerning trend is on the rise with coyotes in the Valley.

The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, a nonprofit sanctuary that rescues and rehabilitates animals, has noticed a rise in fatal or near-fatal illnesses in coyotes, specifically in Sun City, according to a press release.

The center has received numerous calls reporting animals that looked sick, immobile and covered with patches of thick skin and hair loss.

In a recent incident, a postal worker in Sun City discovered a lifeless coyote amidst a pile of its own vomit, feces and fur, the conservation center said. Although it was brought in for treatment, it died shortly after.

Understanding the threat to local wildlife

The center attributes the illnesses to mange, a condition linked to the use of rodenticides. Chemicals in rodenticide weaken the immune system of coyotes, making them more susceptible to parasites that cause mange.

While treatment is possible for some instances of rodenticide-induced mange, not all cases are identified in time for successful intervention. Although, treatable animals are not always releasable as they may become too accustomed to humans or too weak to survive on their own.

Further, rodenticide chemicals can permeate the food chain, affecting various wildlife species.

Southwest Wildlife Center’s urgent call to action

As a result of the concerning trend, the center is asking the public and pest control companies to use less rodenticide and consider other less harmful methods.

“We recommend you start with prevention and that means eliminating any food sources, such as bird seed, pet food or fallen fruit that may attract rats,” Taylor Blackden of Southwest Wildlife said in a press release.

“We also recommend sealing holes in roofs and around pipes or electrical cables to prevent rats from getting into homes, and keeping indoor and outdoor spaces clean in order to effectively diagnose pest concerns quickly.”

If necessary, using rat traps, particularly electrical shock traps, is advised as a more humane option.

Finally, the center pleads to the community to spread awareness about the dangers of rodenticide and to educate communities on other pest control methods.

Those wanting to learn more about the dangers are invited for a tour to meet orphaned mountain lions Felix and Zia, whose mother died from rodenticide.

Proceeds from visits contribute to the rescue, rehabilitation, release and sanctuary efforts for abandoned and injured wildlife in Arizona.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Follow @suelenrivera...

SuElen Rivera

City of Goodyear unveils state-of-the-art Fire Station 188

The city of Goodyear held a grand opening ceremony on Thursday for the addition of its latest fire station.

2 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/Tucson Police Department)...

Associated Press

Man already serving life sentence convicted of killing Tucson girl who vanished from parents’ home

A man already serving a life sentence was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder in the killing of another Tucson girl years earlier.

5 hours ago

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was...

Danny Shapiro

Suspect indicted on manslaughter charge in death of fellow IRS agent in Phoenix

A suspect who accidentally shot and killed a fellow IRS agent at a federal gun range in Phoenix was indicted on a manslaughter charge, authorities announced Friday.

6 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

7 hours ago


KTAR Video

Video: A closer look at the alleged cover-up of Preston Lord’s fatal beating

Arizona Republic investigative reporters Robert Anglen and Elena Santa Cruz join guest host Kristin Bentz to further explain the latest developments in the Preston Lord investigation. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

7 hours ago

A sign in front of a building identifies Valleywise Behavioral Health Center – Maryvale in Phoeni...

Kevin Stone

Valleywise Health replenishing mental health care capacity after staffing setback

Valleywise Health is working to replenish its mental health care capacity after cutting back because of staffing shortages in 2022.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Local wildlife center urges action against rodenticide threat to Valley coyotes