Adult male mallards were fed untreated mash or mash containing 1.5% Prudhoe Bay crude oil for 7 days ad lib. During the initial 24 h of exposure to crude petroleum oil, ducks consumed less mash (P less than 0.05) and lost approx. 3.5% of their initial body weight (P less than 0.05), however, neither intake nor body weight differ between groups on days 2-7. Plasma samples collected between 09.00 and 10.00 h on days 0, 1, 3, or 7 indicated that corticosterone, glucose, thyroxine, total protein, and uric acid concentrations, and the activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and butyrylcholinesterase (BCHE) were not affected by treatment. These findings suggest that adult mallards may be able to tolerate large quantities of crude petroleum oil mixed in their diet (approx. 25 ml over a 7-day period) without overt or biochemical indications of distress.
Additional publication details
Tolerance of adult mallards to subacute ingestion of crude petroleum oil