Hastings Birdwatchers have backed a Birdlife Australia campaign calling on major retailers, such as Bunnings to ban harmful rodent poisons from their shelves.
Hastings Birdwatchers conservation officer Les Mitchell said certain types of rodent baits are having a detrimental impact on the population of bird species.
Dead birds, including the Tawny Frogmouth and Greater Sooty Owl have recently been found by members of the Port Macquarie-Hastings public.
Birdlife Australia has examined liver samples of deceased Powerful Owls, where 37 of 38 showed there was the presence of anticoagulant rodenticide chemicals, used in common household rat and mice baits.
Hastings Birdwatchers conservation officer Les Mitchell explained the second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) are powerfully lethal.
"There is a time lag between taking a bait and the effects, so rodents can consume a lethal dose and still be wandering around, like walking time bombs," he said.
"Predators who naturally eat rodents, like owls and other birds of prey, can then easily consume multiple pests, in turn becoming poisoned themselves."
Mr Mitchell said there are safer alternatives for people to purchase if they need to kill rodents, such as those which are classified as first generation anticoagulant rodenticides (FGARs).
"FGARs break down quicker, and so there is less chance of larger animals being poisoned," he said.
Mr Mitchell said bird species such as the Powerful Owl are critical to the environment.
Powerful Owls are a threatened species which live across the eastern seaboard.
"I think people would be much more careful with the rodent elimination products they purchase, if they knew what kind of impact some poisons have," Mr Mitchell said.
"Our environment needs these predators to control the rodents in the first place."
According to Birdlife Australia, the nation is lagging behind other countries overseas including the US, and Canada which have already restricted the sale of harmful poisons.
"Australia has little regulation on their use and SGARs can be easily purchased in hardware and grocery stores across the country," Mr Mitchell said.
Bunnings Merchandise general manager Adrian Pearce said the company understand there are risks associated with the use of SGARs for birds and some wildlife.
"We proactively promote the safe use of these products and support customers in making informed purchasing decisions," he said.
"We have been working with our suppliers to include additional information on packaging, as well as making updates to our website to help customers identify which products are first generation or second generation rodenticides.
"In addition, we are creating further training for our team members to help improve their knowledge about this topic.
"We are also in the process of implementing the separation of first generation and second generation rat poison varieties, along with naturally-derived rodenticides on our shelves to further assist with easier customer product selection."
Mr Pearce said Bunnings offers a range of rodent control products, including anticoagulant rodenticides as well as a number of non-poisonous alternatives, such as rodent repellers, live catch traps, regular rat traps and natural bait pellets.
For more information on the threats that certain pesticides pose to native wildlife and alternative recommendations, please visit www.actforbirds.org
What else is making news, sport?
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: