Did organochlorine pesticide use cause declines in Mauritian forest birds?
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We examine the hypothesis that organochlorine pesticide use in the 1950s and 1960s caused population declines and local extinctions in two endemic Mauritian birds, the Mauritius kestrel, Falco punctatus, and Mauritius cuckoo-shrike, Coracina typica. This hypothesis was suggested in the 1980s but is dismissed by authorities in Mauritius. The declines and subsequent increases in the populations and range areas of both species, the timing and location of the use of organochlorines for malaria control and in food crop production, the diets of the species, and the known mechanisms for transfer of organochlorine residues into organisms are all consistent with the hypothesis. No alternative explanation can at present account for these population changes. Organochlorine pesticide use cannot therefore be rejected as a reason for the declines and local extinctions of the kestrel and cuckoo-shrike.
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- Did organochlorine pesticide use cause declines in Mauritian forest birds?
Biodiversity & Conservation
Volume 6, Issue 10 , pp 1445-1451
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