Declines of over 60% in mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) populations over the past 30 years have made it a species of concern throughout its current range and a proposed species for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Wintering mountain plovers spend considerable time on freshly plowed agricultural fields where they may potentially be exposed to anticholinesterase pesticides. Because of the population status and wintering ecology of plovers, the objectives of our study were to use nondestructive methods to report baseline plasma cholinesterase (ChE) levels in free-ranging mountain plovers wintering in California, USA, and to assess whether sampled birds showed signs of ChE inhibition related to anticholinesterase chemical exposure. We compared plasma ChE activity for mountain plovers sampled from the Carrizo Plain (an area relatively free of anticholinesterase pesticide use) with similar measures for plovers from the Central Valley (where anticholinesterase pesticides are widely used). Analyses for ChE inhibition indicated that none of the plovers had been recently exposed to these chemicals. However, mean ChE levels of plovers from the Central Valley were significantly higher (32%) than levels reported for plovers from the Carrizo Plain. This result differs from our original assumption of higher exposure risk to mountain plovers in the Central Valley but does suggest that some effect is occurring in the ChE activity of mountain plovers wintering in California.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Plasma cholinesterase levels of mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) wintering in central California, USA|
|Series title||Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry|
|Contributing office(s)||Fort Collins Science Center|