Save Waltham Wildlife

Picture of Barred Owl Prospect Hill Park Waltham, MA

Barred Owl
Prospect Hill Park
Waltham, MA

Save Waltham Wildlife (SWW), a Waltham Land Trust initiative, began in February 2023, when several WLT volunteer trail stewards attended a presentation in Lexington by Laura Kiesel, the founder and driving force of Save Arlington Wildlife. The primary goal of both groups at this time is to limit and eventually ban altogether the use of Second-Generation Anti-Coagulant Rodenticides (SGARs), which have been killing local raptors (including three eagles).

Because SGARs act slowly, rats who have eaten SGARs have time to wander out into the open and, as they are dying, to become the prey of hawks, owls, eagles, foxes, and, sometimes, family pets. In digesting the rat, the predator also ingests the poisons, leading to internal bleeding and all too often to death

Since banding together, SWW's main activities have been raising awareness, lobbying local officials, and gathering information. In terms of raising awareness, one of SWW's first major initiatives was to bring Laura Kiesel to Waltham, where she gave a presentation on SGARs and alternative methods of rodent control at the Waltham Public Library on May 6, 2023. See Laura’s slideshow below.

Picture of a Bald Eagle in Waltham

Bald Eagle in Waltham

Later in May, the Waltham Land Trust submitted a letter of support for two bills at the statehouse, one of which gives control to local communities regarding use of pesticides. You can read it below.

On March 9, 2024, SWW joined forces with Mass Audubon to hold a hybrid meeting reiterating the dangers of rodent poison and ways local residents can get involved protecting Waltham wildlife. Watch the video of the meeting to learn more.

SWW held a follow-up Zoom meeting on March 28. Here is a PDF of the slide presentation.

SWW and WLT will continue to lobby for city-wide banning of SGARs and for a more holistic approach to rodent control, involving better trash management (including the provision of large, rodent-safe trash bins to all Waltham residents) and greater use of both Contra-pest and snap traps.

To learn more and become involved with SWW, please email

The Rat Poison Problem: How Rodenticides Harm People, Pets, & the Planet

Picture of a rat bait box

A rat bait box

Climate change, a construction boom, and growth in human population density have led to a dramatic rise in rats and mice in and around metro areas like Boston. Rat poison usually is the main method for dealing with the problem. But these poisons are killing local wildlife and pets and endanger our young children, while not actually proving at all effective in reducing rodents.

Picture of a Hawk eating a rat

Hawk eating a rat



On May 6th, 2023, local naturalist and conservation advocate Laura Kiesel gave a presentation that reviewed the history of rodenticides, their impact on our health and environment, and solutions for a way forward that preserves our planet.

Watch the May 6th 2023 Presentation by Laura Kiesel

Slideshow by Laura Kiesel

Letter of support for two bills

Click on the letter of support to download and read