Monthly Archives: May 2015

USFWS Internal Email on Brodifacoum Threats to Human Health — Fish contaminated after Wake Island Poison Drop

Department of the Interior Email ThumbnailWake Island, located in the South Pacific contains a military base and is under the jurisdiction of the US Air Force. Wake Island was the unfortunate recipient of an island eradication attempt in 2012, which was carried out by US Fish & Wildlife and Island Conservation. This eradication project was a miserable failure as the rats did survive the brodifacoum (rat poison) helicopter drops of approximately 22 lbs per acre.

What deeply concerns Island Watch is the impact to the entire ecosystem from this tremendous pesticide application. This document below was received by Island Watch and Animal Legal Defense Fund as part of our FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request.  This email exchange is between the US Air Force, US Fish & Wildlife and Island Conservation. and the issue being discussed is the contamination of fish, one year after the Wake Island poison drop.

This email thread references the brodifacoum lab analysis done by the US Air Force, however that specific attachment was missing in our FOIA documents. Since many documents we received back were missing attachments, this isn’t surprising. We have requested this lab report and we don’t anticipate it being withheld or redacted.

Some of the key points in this email discussion include the following —

“FYI – note the Wake Atoll brodifacoum results analysis.  We have a couple of options. I guess it comes down to how long we want to restrict consumption of fish at Wake. The current recommendation is approximately 942 days. Also with no money are furloughs occurring July 8 – end of September, it is unlikely that a sampling project will occur this FY. I’ll keep you in the loop, but thought you’d might like this info for future projects.”  — Matt Moran, US Air Force

” Attached you will find our analysis of the brodifacoum testing performed on Wake Atoll.  I appreciate everyone’s patience on this report, as it has ventured into unchartered waters with regards to human risks. Due to the potential severity to human health risk, we proceeded with slow, but purposeful intent.”  — Major Wesley Walker, US Air Force

Our questions include the following — what happened to all the fish eating wildlife that consumed poisoned fish?  What about current and future generations of species that consumed sub lethal doses of brodifacoum? Is anybody monitoring for epigenetic impacts to the entire ecosystem?

Click here to read the internal email thread.