Navigation Links
American birds of prey at higher risk of poisoning from pest control chemicals

A new study by scientists from Maryland and Colorado using American kestrels, a surrogate test species for raptorial birds, suggests that they are at greater risk from poisoning from the rodenticide diphacinone than previous believed. The research, published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, considers the threat posed by diphacinone as its usage increases following restrictions on the use of similar pesticides.

"Recent restrictions on the use of some rodenticides may result in increased use of diphacinone," said lead author Dr. Barnett Rattner from the US Geological Survey. "Very few controlled studies have examined its toxicity in birds so it is important to determine how lethal this chemical is to wildlife."

Surveillance programs have reported detection of rates of rodenticide in birds of prey across France, Great Britain and Western Canada, revealing that several second-generation rodenticides can result in non-target deaths, with possible population-level implications.

However, the global magnitude of non-target poisoning through the routine use of rodenticide, or through targeted eradication programs remains unknown, partly because the indirect fatalities go largely unnoticed and unreported.

The team tested kestrels and discovered the effects of diphacinone and the quantity required for a lethal dose. The results showed that birds that had ingested greater than 300 mg per kilogram of body weight died within 8 to 23 hours, while those ingesting a dose of 118.6 mg/kg survived 27 to 47 hours. At lower doses, nearly all of the birds survived.

Poisoned birds displayed some evidence of internal bleeding, although histological examination of internal organs revealed hemorrhaging over a wide range of doses. The results demonstrate that doses that reach or exceed 79 mg/kg body weight are lethal for kestrels.

"Our study, combined with previous research in hawk and owl species show that birds of prey are considerably more sensitive to diphacinone compared to species such as bobwhite quails and mallards," said Rattner. "Their protection requires more substantial safety margins than are afforded to species of game birds traditionally used in pesticide registration studies."

Using their results the team estimated how much poisoned prey a hawk or owl would need to consume before ingesting a lethal dose. Using a probabilistic risk approach, the team estimated that an endangered hawk or owl would be at risk if it consumed as little as 3 to 4 grams of liver from a poisoned rodent.

"Diphacinone was found to be considerably more toxic to American kestrels than previously reported in tests of other wildlife test species", concluded Rattner. "These data, in combination with similar measurements in Northern bobwhites, will assist in the development of a pharmacodynamic model and a more complete risk assessment of diphacinone for birds."


Contact: Ben Norman

Related biology news :

1. American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, March 27-31, Anaheim, Calif.
2. Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
3. Why are vines overtaking the American tropics?
4. American Physical Society online journals available free in US high schools
5. Native American ancestry linked to greater risk of relapse in young leukemia patients
6. ASN statement in support of US Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
7. Altered gene protects some African-Americans from coronary artery disease
8. University of Missouri professor elected to American Association for the Advancement of Science
9. 10 UC Riverside researchers recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
10. Press registration opens for American Chemical Society National Meeting, March 27-31, 2011
11. American Association of Anatomists announces young investigator award winners
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/15/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  ,      ... gait biometrics market is expected to grow at ... Gait analysis generates multiple variables such ... compute factors that are not or cannot be ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid ... setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to ... leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track ... and body mass index, and, when they opt in, ... convenient visit to a local retail location at no ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016  Genomics firm Nabsys has completed a financial ... Bready , M.D., who returned to the company in ... leadership team, including Chief Technology Officer, John Oliver ... Nurnberg and Vice President of Software and Informatics, ... Dr. Bready served as CEO of Nabsys from ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Seattle, WA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... technology, announces the release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and ... patient recruitment and retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 A person commits a crime, and the ... track the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne ... Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria ... far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, ... foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge ... envision new ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, ... Art (MoMA) in New York City ... 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos ... Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report ... detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted ... change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: