Wildlife in some areas of New Mexico and Texas accumulate elevated DDE residues, 1983

  • Donald H. White
  • Alexander J. Krynitsky
Article

Abstract

Over the last decade, data gathered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's National Contaminant Biomonitoring Program have identified an area of elevated DDE contamination in portions of New Mexico and Texas. Extensive wildlife sampling in 1983 confirmed that DDE, the major metabolite of the insecticide DDT, was present at high concentrations in wildlife at selected sites in the Rio Grande and Pecos River drainages. DDE in carcasses ranged up to 47 ppm (wet weight) in western kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis), 35 ppm in house sparrows (Passer domesticus), 46 ppm in Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis), and 104 ppm in whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus spp.). DDE was also detected in gut contents from western kingbirds at some of the highest concentrations ever reported, ranging up to 21 ppm in proventricular samples. An average of 40% of the eggs of black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) from two sites along the Pecos River in New Mexico had DDE levels (≥8 ppm) that have been associated in other studies with impaired reproduction. In contrast, wintering mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and American coots (Fulica americana) from the study area did not accumulate elevated DDE levels. DDE in wildlife samples at control sites (nonagricultural areas) was either absent or averaged less than 0.35 ppm.

Collectively, these data provide evidence that there is major DDE contamination of several vertebrate species in portions of the Rio Grande and Pecos River drainages, but whether the contamination is recent or residual was not determined. Apparently, the source was not DDE contamination present in dicofol (4-chloro-a-(4-chlorophenyl)-a-(trichloromethyl) benzenemethanol); neither dicofol nor its metabolite,p,p'-dichlorobenzophenone, were detected in wildlife carcasses (0.1 ppm detection limit) or proventricular contents (0.01 ppm detection limit) of western kingbirds.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bent AC (1963) Life histories of North American flycatchers, larks, swallows, and their allies. Dover Publ, New York, 555 ppGoogle Scholar
  2. Best TL, Polechla PJ (1983) Foods of the Texas spotted whiptail lizard (Cnemidophorus gularis) in New Mexico. Southwest Nat 28:376–377Google Scholar
  3. Bolen EG, Simpson CD, Stornier FA (1979) Playa lakes: threatened wetlands on the Southern Great Plains. Proc 31st Annu Meeting Great Plains Agric Council, Ft Collins, CO, pp 23–30Google Scholar
  4. Cain BW (1981) Nationwide residues of organochlorine compounds in wings of adult mallards and black ducks. Pestic Monit J 15:128–134Google Scholar
  5. Cain BW, Bunck CM (1983) Residues of organochlorine compounds in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), 1979. Environ Monit Assess 3:161–172Google Scholar
  6. Clark DR, Krynitsky AJ (1983) DDT: recent contamination in New Mexico and Arizona? Environment 25:27–31Google Scholar
  7. Clark DR, Martin CO, Swineford DM (1975) Organochlorine insecticide residues in the free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) at Bracken Cave, Texas. J Mammal 56:429–443Google Scholar
  8. Cockrum EL (1969) Migration in the guano bat,Tadarida brasiliensis In: Jones JK, Jr (ed) Contributions in mammalogy. Univ Kans Mus Nat Hist Misc Publ 51:303–336Google Scholar
  9. Constantine DG (1967) Activity patterns of the Mexican freetailed bat. Univ New Mex Publ Biol, No 7, 79 ppGoogle Scholar
  10. Cromartie E, Reichel WL, Locke LN, Belisle AA, Kaiser TE, Lamont TG, Mulhern BM, Swineford DM (1975) Residues of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls and autopsy data for bald eagles, 1971–1972. Pestic Monit J 9:11–14Google Scholar
  11. Cuesta LR (1974) Comparative breeding ecology of the western kingbird (Tyrannus verticalis) in three habitat types. Unpubl Master's Thesis, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, NMGoogle Scholar
  12. Cully DD, Applegate HG (1967) Insecticide concentrations in wildlife at Presidio, Texas. Pestic Monit J 1:21–28Google Scholar
  13. Frederickson LH (1977) American coot (Fulica americana). In: Sanderson GC (ed) Management of migratory shore and upland game birds in North America. Int Assoc Fish Wildl Agencies, Washington, DC, pp 123–147Google Scholar
  14. Gamble LR (1985) Nesting ecology of western kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis Say) in the Trans-Pecos area of Texas relative to pesticidal contamination. Unpubl Master′s Thesis, Texas A & I Univ, Kingsville, TXGoogle Scholar
  15. Geluso KN, Altenbach JS, Wilson DE (1976) Bat mortality: pesticide poisoning and migratory stress. Science 194:184–186Google Scholar
  16. Geluso KN, Altenbach JS, Wilson DE (1981) Organochlorine residues in young Mexican free-tailed bats from several roosts. Am Midl Nat 105:249–257Google Scholar
  17. Grussing D (1980) How to control house sparrows. Roseville Publ House, Roseville, MN, 52 ppGoogle Scholar
  18. Heath RG, Spann JW, Kreitzer JF (1969) Marked DDE impairment of mallard reproduction in controlled studies. Nature 224:47–48Google Scholar
  19. Henny CJ, Blus LJ, Krynitsky AJ, Bunck CM (1984) Current impact of DDE on black-crowned night-herons in the Intermountain West. J Wildl Manage 48:1–13Google Scholar
  20. Henny CJ, Maser C, Whitaker JO, Kaiser TE (1982a) Organochlorine residues in bats after a forest spraying with DDT. Northwest Sci 56:329–337Google Scholar
  21. Henny CJ, Ward FP, Riddle KE, Prouty RM (1982b) Migratory peregrine falcons,Falco peregrinus, accumulate pesticides in Latin America during winter. Can Field Nat 96:333–338Google Scholar
  22. Johnston DW (1975) Organochlorine pesticide residues in small migratory birds, 1964–73. Pestic Monit J 9:79–88Google Scholar
  23. King KA, Flickinger EL, Hildebrand HH (1978) Shell thinning and pesticide residues in Texas aquatic bird eggs, 1970. Pestic Monit J 12:16–21Google Scholar
  24. Longcore JR, Stendell RC (1977) Shell thinning and reproductive impairment in black ducks after cessation of DDE dosage. Arch Environ Contain Toxicol 6:293–304Google Scholar
  25. McEwen LC, Stafford CJ, Hensler GL (1984) Organochlorine residues in eggs of black-crowned night-herons from Colorado and Wyoming. Environ Toxicol Chem 3:367–376Google Scholar
  26. Milstead WW (1957) Observations on the natural history of four species of whiptail lizard,Cnemidophorus (Sauna, Teidae) in Trans-Pecos Texas. Southwest Nat 2:105–121Google Scholar
  27. — (1957b) Some aspects of composition in natural populations of whiptail lizards (genusCnemidophorus). Tex J Sci 9:410–447Google Scholar
  28. — (1958) A list of the arthropods found in the stomachs of whiptail lizards from four stations in southwestern Texas. Tex J Sci 10:443–446Google Scholar
  29. — (1961) Observations of the activities of small animals (Reptilia and Mammalia) on a quadrat in southwest Texas, Amer Midl Nat 65:127–138Google Scholar
  30. Simpson CD, Stornier FA, Bolin EG, Moore RL (1981) Significance of playas to migratory wildlife. Proc Playa Lakes Symp, US Fish Wildl Serv, Arlington, TXGoogle Scholar
  31. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1984) Dicofol; proposed notice of intent to cancel registration of pesticide products containing dicofol; notice of intent to deny registration of dicofol products; availability of position document 2/3. Federal Register 49:39820–39828Google Scholar
  32. Weir D, Schapiro M (1981) Circle of poison. Institute for Food and Development Policy, San Francisco, CA, 99 ppGoogle Scholar
  33. White DH (1976) Nationwide residues of organochlorines in starlings, 1974. Pestic Monit J 10:10–17Google Scholar
  34. — (1979a) Nationwide residues of organochlorine compounds in starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), 1976. Pestic Monit J 12:193–197Google Scholar
  35. — (1979b) Nationwide residues of organochlorine compounds in wings of adult mallards and black ducks, 1976–77. Pestic Monit J 13:12–16Google Scholar
  36. White DH, Heath RG (1976) Nationwide residues of organochlorines in wings of adult mallards and black ducks, 1972–73. Pestic Monit J 9:176–185Google Scholar
  37. White DH, King KA, Mitchell CA, Krynitsky AJ (1981) Body lipids and pesticide burdens of migrant blue-winged teal. J Field Ornithol 52:23–28Google Scholar
  38. White DH, Mitchell CA, Stafford CJ (1985) Organochlorine concentrations, whole body weights, and lipid content of black skimmers wintering in Mexico and in south Texas, 1983. Bull Environ Contain Toxicol 34:513–517Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald H. White
    • 2
  • Alexander J. Krynitsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Patuxent Wildlife Research CenterU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceLaurel
  2. 2.U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Southeast Field Station, School of Forest ResourcesUniversity of GeorgiaAthens

Personalised recommendations