"Biocides" was Rachel Carson's term for pesticides that kill indiscriminately. They haven't been much talked about since the banning of DDT and relatives in the 1970s – until now.
As Pete Gober, who heads the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's effort to save the black-footed ferret, America's most endangered mammal, put it recently: "The incredibly dumb things we did 40 years ago are coming full circle." Had I heard of a biocide calledRozol? I had not.
Rozol makes creatures that ingest it bleed from every orifice and stagger around for the week or two or three it takes them to die, attracting predators and scavengers. Whatever eats the anticoagulant-laced victim dies, too.
Rozol was registered for black-tailed-prairie dog control in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming by George W. Bush's EPA and, in May 2009, by Barack Obama's EPA in the rest of the range -- Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
Now, this biocide is killing golden eagles, bald eagles, ferruginous hawks, owls, magpies, turkey vultures, badgers, swift foxes, coyotes, raccoons, red-winged blackbirds, wild turkeys, and almost certainly, ferrets.