ESQUIMALT -- An owl has been found dead once again in the Capital Regional District, this time in Esquimalt. A necropsy is scheduled to take place in the coming days, but rodenticide poisoning is suspected and that is renewing the call for a province-wide ban on the rodent poison.

“I found this owl right in this area,” said Karja Martinelli, gardener for the Municipality of Esquimalt, pointing to some shrubs.

This owl was found dead in Saxe Point Park in Esquimalt.

Martinelli has been working in the park for three years. In that time, she says she's built a relationship with a family of owls that live there.

“I’ve watched them raise their children, they’re very special birds to me,” said the gardener.

When she found the dead male barred owl on Monday in the shrubs, she was heartbroken.

“Council last night voted to ban rodenticides from use in the township,” said Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins on Tuesday.

On Monday, Esquimalt council voted unanimously in favour of banning the poison. Esquimalt now joins eight other municipalities on Vancouver Island and eight more across the province that have done the same thing.

Rodenticides are used to kill rodents in municipalities across the province. The problem is, predator species will often feed on animals killed by poisoning, causing their deaths as well.

A municipal ban on the use of the poison will help predatory species survive, but there’s a catch.

“We don’t have the ability to enforce something on private property,” said Desjardins. “If the province changes their policies, they can then have that enforcement across British Columbia.”

Saanich banned rodenticides in its municipality roughly one year ago.

“Saanich itself has done everything we can, we banned it in our own lands,” said Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes. “The problem is, residents have availability to it and the province needs to be stepping up and taking them off the shelves for residents.”

It’s a call to the province that one advocacy group has been making for years.

“So the ultimate goal is that the Minister of Environment prohibits the use and sale of rodenticides in B.C. period,” said Deanna Pfeifer of Rodenticide Free B.C. “We are calling on him for action.”

In a statement to CTV News, George Heyman, B.C.'s Minster of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, said he was looking into the issue.

“My ministry is looking at a range of actions that may be taken to prevent these poisonings, including public engagement, education, training, and also whether these products need to be more strongly regulated.”

Back at Saxe Point Park in Esquimalt, Martinelli points to a lone female owl in a tree.

“The female owl resides on that tree in it’s usual location right there,” she said.

Today, the female mate of the dead owl sits quietly in her usual spot in the park. Yesterday, she wasn’t so silent.

“I know for a fact that the female was calling for her partner all evening yesterday and all night,” said Martinelli. “It’s quite a sad situation.”

Rodenticide Free B.C.‘s petition calling for a provincial ban on rodenticides can be found here.