Wings from mallard ducks harvested in 1980 in Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico were pooled into county aggregates and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides and PCB's. Organochlorine concentrations in duck wings were compared among counties comprising major river drainages within each state. DDE concentrations in the wings of mallards collected from the Verde River and the lower portion of the Gila River drainages in Arizona ranged up to 6 ppm (wet weight basis), which was 17 times higher than the 1979 Pacific Flyway average. DDE at these high levels may be hazardous to wildlife. In combination with other published data, our findings indicate a serious DDT problem in portions of the Verde River and Gila River drainages. High levels of heptachlor (up to 1.7 ppm) and PCB's (3.7 ppm, 61 times the 1979 Central Flyway average) were found in mallard wings from the upper Rio Grande and Pecos River drainages, respectively. We did not detect areas of heavy local organochlorine pesticide or PCB contamination in Arkansas and Louisiana.
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Areas of localized organochlorine contamination in Arizona and New Mexico