2024 Wildlife Legislative Updates
Prohibit the Use of Certain Rodenticides
HB 5217 AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF CERTAIN RODENTICIDES will prohibit the use of second-generation rodenticides in order to preserve hawk and other raptor populations in the state. Despite their misleading name, rodenticides are non-specific compounds that contain toxins in levels lethal to a broad range of species, including humans. They are most commonly used in the form of bait blocks set out to poison rodents. Because the toxins are slow acting, the target rodents will live for days after ingestion and are far too often eaten by predators before succumbing to the poison itself. The predators, including hawks, owls, and eagles, then become secondary unintended victims as they digest their contaminated prey. Occasionally children have been known to ingest these brightly colored bait blocks as well. While treatment can be successful for humans and domestic animals, mortality rates in wildlife are nearly100% after consumption, even when brought in for veterinary care quickly. Passage oft his bill would regulate the use of these rodenticides and reduce the occurrence of poisoning non-target animals.
Prohibit the Use of Neonicotinoids
SB 963 AN ACT CONCERNING NEONICOTINOIDS FOR NONAGRICULTURAL USE will prohibit the nonagricultural use of neonicotinoids. These air borne toxins produce an accumulation of acetylcholine that results in convulsions, hyper sensitivity, paralysis and death in insects: bees, butterflies and other important pollinators.There is enough toxic substance in the active ingredients found atop one coated corn seed to kill more than 250,000 bees if exposed to these harmful chemicals. Neonics remain in the environment for years spreading easily through the air and seeping into our natural resources such as our soil and waterways. According to the Center For Disease Control about 50% of the U.S. population over 3 years of age have been exposed to neonics. These poisons have been linked to potential neurological, developmental and reproductive harms, including malformations of the developing heart and brain in humans. Passage of this bill would restrict the use of these insecticides and help stop the decline of keystone insect populations.
Prohibit The Sale and Spread of Invasive Plant Species
HB 5225 AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE INVASIVE PLANTS COUNCIL would codify the recommendations of plant experts and botanists concerned with the continuing spread of certain non-native plant species. These species spread quickly and overtake our native flora, causing disruptions to ecosystems and negatively impacting countless species of wildlife. They often provide shelter for various non-native insect pests also. Banning the sale and transport of certain plants known to be invasive in Connecticut will help to control their spread and reduce the strain they cause on our ecosystems, allowing our forests, woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and waterways to recover and return to a healthy level of biodiversity.
Protect and Establish Vegetated Buffers Along Watercourses
HB 5218 AN ACT CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RIPARIAN BUFFERS AND REVISION OF CERTAIN INLAND WETLANDS PROVISIONS will allow for the development and conservation of buffers and setbacks from waterways and wetlands and require certain inland wetlands training and materials. Vegetated buffers are the most cost-effective way to control erosion and mitigate flooding. Native shrubs and other semi-aquatic plants along streams and rivers provide habitats for wildlife and are critical to reducing pollution in our waterways. This low impact and nature-based solution to a growing area of concern can be implemented quickly and will have significant, measurable and lasting effects, even in the short term.
Other Wildlife Campaigns
Connecticut’s black bears are a crucial part of our state’s biodiversity and need our protection now more than ever. Sierra Club CT opposes efforts to enact a bear hunt and instead advocates for a proactive, comprehensive education initiative, teaching people and communities to become “bear smart” by learning and putting into effect proven, non-lethal methods of deterrence.