Thirty-seven bald eagles found sick or dead in 18 States during 1971-72 were analyzed for organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's). DDE and PCB's were detected in all bald eagle carcasses; 30 carcasses contained DDD and 28 contained dieldrin. Four eagles contained possibly lethal levels of dieldrin and nine eagles had been poisoned by thallium. Autopsies revealed that illegal shooting was the most common cause of mortality. Since 1964 when data were first collected, 8 of the 17 eagles obtained from Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida possibly died from dieldrin poisoning; all four specimens from Maryland and Virginia were from the Chesapeake Bay Tidewater area.
Additional publication details
Residues of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls and autopsy data for bald eagles, 1971-72