Waterfowl wintering on the Yazoo National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) were contaminated (ltoreq 4 ppm wet wt) with dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) and 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis-(p-chlorophenyl) ethylene (DDE), but residues were below levels known to affect waterfowl. Eggs of some nesting waterbirds contained higher than expected levels of DDE, especially those of green-backed herons (Butorides striatus), ranging up to 43 ppm wet weight. Hatching success (P lt 0.05) and eggshell thickness (P lt 0.05) in green-backed herons and anhingas (Anhinga anhinga) were negatively correlated with DDE in the eggs, and shell thinning (P lt 0.05) was evident 12-13 years after DDT was banned in the United States. The threshold level of DDE determined necessary for reduced hatching success in green-backed heron eggs was 5.1-10 ppm wet weight. These results further increase our ability to interpret DDE concentrations in waterbirds and predict their potential effects on productivity.
Additional publication details
Pesticide contamination and hatching success of waterbirds in Mississippi