Laboratory and field studies show that DDE residues in blood plasma are highly correlated with DDE in the brain, the rate of DDE exposure and the amount of DDE in eggs of free-living birds of prey. A blood sampling approach is proposed to supplement existing environmental contaminant methods available for birds of prey. Residues (?DDT) in plasma provide some direct information; however, a method is proposed to adjust blood plasma residues from four species of birds of prey to the estimated residues in eggs for the purpose of residue interpretation. The blood plasma-egg relationship appears to be species-independent in the four raptors studied. Two predicting equations are presented for estimating egg residues, one for plasma samples collected prior to, or within a few days of, egg laying, and another for the post-laying period. Limitations and advantages of the blood plasma monitoring approach are discussed. The approach may be particularly suitable for endangered species research.
Additional publication details
An evaluation of blood plasma for monitoring DDE in birds of prey