Pine voles (Microtus pinetorum) were collected from pesticide-treated orchards in New York and fed to 3 captive American kestrels (Falco sparverius) for 60 days to evaluate potential hazards from soil-borne persistent insecticides. Three control kestrels were fed uncontaminated laboratory mice (Mus musculus). The pine voles contained an average of 38 ppm lead, 48 ppm DDE and 1.2 ppm dieldrin (dry weight). The kestrels accumulated sublethal amounts of lead (1 ppm lead wet weight) in their livers. In contrast, DDE and dieldrin accumulated in the tissues and brains of kestrels to toxicologically significant concentrations. Control kestrels remained healthy and accumulated insignificant concentrations of the contaminants. The results indicated raptors may not be significantly at risk from lead residues in soil and biota following field applications of lead arsenate. However, sublethal effects may be expected from the level of contamination by organochlorine pesticides. raptors may not be significantly at risk from lead residues in soil and biota following field applications of lead arsenate. However, sublethal effects may be expected from the level of contamination byorganochlorine pesticides. lead wet weight) in their livers.
Additional publication details
Accumulation of lead and organochlorine residues in captive American kestrels fed pine voles from apple orchards
Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Wildlife Disease Association
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center