Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 225-231

First online:

Residues of organochlorines in mallards and blue-winged teal collected in Colombia and Wisconsin, 1984–1989

  • J. E. BoteroAffiliated withDepartment of Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin
  • , M. W. MeyerAffiliated withWisconsin Department of Natural Resources Research Center
  • , S. S. HurleyAffiliated withWisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • , D. H. RuschAffiliated withNational Biological Service, Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Wisconsin

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We compared the seasonal concentrations of 12 organochlorine (OC) compounds in samples of breast muscle, associated skin, and subcutaneous fat of blue-winged teal (Anas discors) collected in Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta, Colombia (1987–1988), and of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and blue-winged teal collected in Wisconsin (1984–1989). Although these species have similar feeding habits and overlapping breeding distributions, their winter ranges differ markedly. Most blue-winged teal winter in the Neotropics, whereas most mallards remain in the temperate regions of North America. A seasonal comparison of OC exposure in these species may help determine the geographic origins of contamination. All examined OCs were found to be below concentrations known to affect reproduction in waterfowl. DDE was most often detected in blue-winged teal and PCBs, in mallards. DDE exposure may have predominantly occurred outside of Wisconsin. The DDE concentration in blue-winged teal samples collected in Wisconsin in the spring (GM=0.406 μg/g) were greater (P<0.001) than in the fall (GM=0.033 μg/g) and greater than the concentrations in mallard samples from the spring (GM=0.058 μg/g; P<0.001). Ciénaga Grande, however, was not a source of DDE contamination. The DDE concentrations in blue-winged teal samples from Ciénaga Grande did not differ between the spring (GM=0.037 μg/g) and the fall (GM=0.039 μg/g) and were lower (P<0.001) than the concentration in blue-winged teal samples from Wisconsin in the spring. In contrast, PCB contamination seemed to have occurred in Wisconsin and affected mostly mallards. PCBs were not detected in the samples from Colombia and were detected in only five (8.3%) of the blue-winged teal samples from Wisconsin (GM=0.025 μg/g), however, those compounds were detected in 47% of the mallard samples collected in Wisconsin (GM=0.272 μg/g). DDE and PCB concentrations were greater (P=0.0) in mallard samples collected from wetlands adjacent to Lake Michigan than in samples from inland wetlands.