Acephate affects migratory orientation of the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
By: , and 



Migratory white-throated sparrows (Zonotrichia albicollis) were exposed to acephate (acetylphosphoramidothioic acid O,S-dimethyl ester), an organophosphorus pesticide, to determine its effects on migratory orientation and behavior. Birds were also exposed to polarizer sheets to determine the mechanism by which acephate may affect migratory orientation. Adult birds exposed to 256 ppm acephate a.i. were not able to establish a preferred migratory orientation and exhibited random activity. All juvenile treatment groups displayed a seasonally correct southward migratory orientation. We hypothesize that acephate may have produced aberrant migratory behavior by affecting the memory of the migratory route and wintering ground. This experiment reveals that an environmentally relevant concentration of a common organophosphorus pesticide can alter migratory orientation, but its effect is markedly different between adult and juvenile sparrows. Results suggest that the survival of free-flying adult passerine migrants may be compromised following organophosphorus pesticide exposure.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Acephate affects migratory orientation of the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis)
Series title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume 14
Issue 11
Year Published 1995
Language English
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 1961-1965
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
First page 1961
Last page 1965
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