Physiological and toxicological effects of p.o. methyl parathion (0.375-3.0 mg/kg) or fenvalerate (1000-4000 mg/kg) were examined over a 10-h period in American kestrels (Falco sparverius) maintained in thermoneutral (22?C) and cold (-5?C) environments. Methyl parathion was highly toxic (estimated median lethal dose of 3.08 mg/kg, 95% confidence limits of 2.29 -4.14 mg/kg), producing dose-dependent inhibition of brain and plasma cholinesterase activity, hyperglycemia, and elevated plasma corticosterone concentration. Brain and plasma cholinesterase inhibition in excess of 50% was associated with transient but pronounced hypothermia 2 h after intubation, although the magnitude of this response was yariable. Fenvalerate, at doses far exceeding those encountered in the environment, caused mild intoxication and elevated plasma alanine aminotransferase activity. Cold intensified methyl parathion toxicity, but did not affect that of fenvalerate. Thus, it would appear that organophosphorus insecticides pose far greater hazard than pyrethroids to raptorial birds.
Additional publication details
Methyl parathion and fenvalerate toxicity in American kestrels: Acute physiological responses and effects of cold