Captive black ducks (anas rubripes) were fed dietary DDE [1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis (p-chlorophenyl)ethylene] at 10 ppm (dry weight; about 2 ppm on a natural diet basis) for 2 breeding seasons, then untreated feed for 2 succeeding years. Residues of DDE in the carcasses of adults declined 90% during the 2-year clean-up period. Following 2 years of dietary DDE, mean residues in eggs reached 64.9 ppm. Even after 2 years on clean feed, DDE residues in the eggs averaged 6.2 ppm or 9.5% of the mean DDE level reached after 2 years on treated feed. Shells of eggs from treated hens were about 20% thinner than shells of eggs from controls. Stoppage of DDE dosage resulted in progressively thicker shells, yet even after 2 years on untreated feed hens laid eggs with shells about 10% thinner than control hens. After DDE was removed from the diet, DDE residues in the eggs decreased, shell thickness increased, and reproductive success improved. Hens previously exposed to DDE, but then fed clean feed for 2 years, still produced significantly fewer surviving ducklings than did control hens.
Additional Publication Details
Shell thinning and reproductive impairment in black ducks after cessation of DDE dosage
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology