Bone Density and Breaking Strength in UK Raptors Exposed to Second Generation Anticoagulant Rodenticides
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Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) such as difenacoum, brodifacoum, and bromadiolone are more persistent and acutely toxic than their first generation counterparts (such as warfarin), and are designed to deliver a lethal dose during a single feeding (US EPA 2004). These properties make SGARs effective primary rodenticides and they have become extremely important for rodent control worldwide. However, their high acute toxicity and relatively long tissue half-lives present the potential for secondary exposure in predatory birds and mammals that feed upon exposed rodents. Mortality incidents have been documented amongst non-target predators but, perhaps more striking yet is the wide-scale (large proportions of each population, multiple species) exposure (Stone et al. 1999; Howald et al. 1999; Eason et al. 2002; Shore et al. 2006).
There is considerable concern that this widespread and large-scale ‘sub-lethal’ exposure (or at least, exposure not visibly associated with...
KeywordsBreaking Strength Predatory Bird Femur Density Brodifacoum Bromadiolone
This study was funded in part by The Predatory Bird Monitoring Scheme (supported by UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee, UK Environment Agency and CEH) and the Pesticide Science Fund from Environment and Health Canada. We thank Stanley Conley (Carleton University, Ottawa, ON) for the use of the Instron testing machine and the volunteers who sent in carcasses for analysis.
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