, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 395-403

Pesticide, PCB, and lead residues and necropsy data for bald eagles from 32 states-1978–81

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Abstract

In 1978–81, 293 bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) from 32 states were necropsied and analyzed for organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), and lead residues. DDE was found in all carcasses; PCB, DDD, trans-nonachlor, dieldrin and oxychlordane were next in order of percent frequency of detection. The median levels of DDE and PCB have declined when compared with previous collections. Five specimens contained high levels of dieldrin in their brains which may have contributed to their deaths. Seventeen eagles contained liver lead residues greater than 10 ppm and probably died of lead poisoning. Trauma and shooting are the most common causes of death.