Persistent Organochlorine Pesticide Residues in Tissues and Eggs of White-Backed Vulture, Gyps bengalensis from Different Locations in India
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Organochlorine pesticide residues were determined in tissues of five Indian white-backed vultures and two of their eggs collected from different locations in India. All the samples had varying levels of residues. p,p′-DDE ranged between 0.002 μg/g in muscle of vulture from Mudumali and 7.30 μg/g in liver of vulture from Delhi. Relatively higher levels of p,p′-DDT and its metabolites were documented in the bird from Delhi than other places. Dieldrin was 0.003 and 0.015 μg/g while p,p′-DDE was 2.46 and 3.26 μg/g in egg one and two respectively. Dieldrin appeared to be lower than the threshold level of 0.5 μg/g. p,p′-DDE exceeded the levels reported to have created toxic effects in eggs of other wild birds. Although varying levels of DDT, HCH, dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide and endosulfan residues were detected in the vulture tissues, they do not appear to be responsible for the present status of population in India.