The cause of death for raptors poisoned at illegal carbofuran-Iaced predator baits is often not confirmed because the carcass matrices that are conventionally analyzed are not available due to decomposition and scavenging. However, many such carcasses retain intact feet that may have come into contact with carbofuran. Eastern screech owls (Otus asio) were exposed to carbofuran via simulated predator baits. Detection of carbofuran from owl feet weathered for 28 days demonstrated the temporal reliability of using feet during a forensic investigation. Raptor carcasses previously not submitted for residue analysis because of a lack of the conventional matrices may now be salvaged for their feet.
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From the Field: Carbofuran detected on weathered raptor carcass feet