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The effects of pesticidal contamination of wildlife habitats may be expected to be proportional to the toxicity of the compounds, the rate and manner of application, persistence of the basic chemical and/or any toxic metabolites, and the extent to which these substances are stored in animal tissues or concentrated by successive elements of wildlife food chains. Measurement of these effects under field conditions is difficult, but the need for field studies may be reduced or eliminated by controlled laboratory tests. Representatives of the birds, mammals and aquatic animals in treated areas should be examined at all stages in the life cycle. Suitable species include laboratory rats, rabbits, dogs, bobwhite or coturnix quail, ringneck pheasant, trout, sunfish, oysters. The quantity of pesticide (ppm in diet or environment; mg/kg consumed) should be determined which produces acute or chronic poisoning or which shows measurable sublethal effects on growth or reproduction. Tissues (including gonads and eggs) should be analysed at each degree of exposure.
Additional Publication Details
Methodology for determining toxicity of pesticides to wild vertebrates