Thirty-nine bald eagles found sick or dead in 13 States during 1969 and 1970 were analyzed for pesticide residues. Residues of DDE, dieldrin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's), and mercury were detected in all bald eagle carcasses; DDD residues were detected in 38; DDT, heptachlor epoxide, and dichlorobenzophenone (DCBP) were detected less frequently. Six eagles contained possible lethal levels of dieldrin in the brain, and one contained a lethal concentration of DDE (385 ppm) in the brain together with 235 ppm of PCB's. Autopsy revealed that 18 bald eagles were illegally shot; other causes of death were impact injuries, electrocution, emaciation, and infectious diseases.
Additional Publication Details
Residues of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and mercury and autopsy data for bald eagles, 1969 and 1970