Skip to main content

Effects of Chlorpyrifos and Aldicarb on Flight Activity and Related Cholinesterase Inhibition in Homing Pigeons, Columba livia: Potential for Migration Effects

Abstract

Homing pigeons (Columba livia) were used as a model to assess the effects of chlorpyrifos and aldicarb on flight times at sub-lethal, environmentally relevant concentrations. A significant increase in flight times of birds dosed with aldicarb and with chlorpyrifos was observed. Plasma cholinesterase activity was measured over time following exposure to either compound. The results suggest that the time of peak inhibition would correlate with migratory flight activity after exposure. In total, the results of these studies show that sub-lethal exposure to cholinesterase-inhibiting pesticides can affect the flying ability of non-target avian species.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Blaber LC, Creasey NH (1960) The mode of recovery of cholinesterase activity in vivo after organphosphorus poisoning. Biochem J 77:597–604

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Booth GM, Mortensen SR, Carter MW, Schaalje BG (2005) Hazard evaluation for northern bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) exposed to chlorpyrifos-treated turf and seed. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 60:176–187

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Brasel JM, Collier AB, Pritsos CA (2007) Differential toxic effects of carbofuran and diazinon on time of flight in pigeons (Columba livia): potential for pesticide effects on migration. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 219:241–246

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Busby DG, White LM, Pearce PA (1990) Effects of aerial spraying of fenitrothion on breeding white-throated sparrows. J Appl Ecol 27:743–755

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Ellman GL, Courtney KD, Valentino Andres J, Featherstone RM (1961) A new and rapid colorimetric determination of acetylcholinesterase activity. Biochem Pharmacol 7:88–95

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Gard NW, Hooper MJ (1995) An assessment of potential hazards of pesticides and environmental contaminants. In: Martin TE, Finch DM (eds) Ecology and management of neotropical migratory birds. Oxford University Press, New York

    Google Scholar 

  7. Gianessi L, Reigner N (2006) Pesticide use in U.S. Crop Production: 2002. Crop Protection Research Institute, pp 1–36

  8. Grue CE, Gibert PL, Seeley ME (1997) Neurophysiological and behavioral changes in non-target wildlife exposed to organophosphate and carbamate pesticides: thermoregulation, food consumption, and reproduction. Am Zool 37:369–388

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Hawkes AW, Brewer LW, Hobson JF, Hooper MJ, Kendall RJ (1996) Survival and cover seeking response of northern bobwhites and mourning doves dosed with aldicarb. Environ Toxicol Chem 15:1538–1543

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Hill EF, Camardese MB (1984) Toxicity of anticholinesterase insecticides to birds: technical grade versus granular formulations. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 8:551–563

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Hunt KA, Bird DM, Mineau P, Shutt L (1992) Selective predation of organophosphate-exposed prey by american kestrels. Animal Behav 43:971–976

    Google Scholar 

  12. Iko WM, Archuleta AS et al (2003) Plasma cholinesterase levels of mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) wintering in Central California, USA. Environ Toxicol Chem 22(1):119–125

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Kwong TC (2002) Organophosphate pesticides: biochemistry and clinical toxicology. Ther Drug Monit 24:144–149

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Nostrandt AC, Duncan JA, Padilla S (1993) A modified spectrophotometric method appropriate for measuring cholinesterase activity in tissue from carbaryl-treated animals. Toxicol Sci 21:196–203

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Vyas NB, Kuenzel WJ, Hill EF, Sauer JR (1995) Acephate affects migratory orientation of the white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis). Environ Toxicol Chem 14:1961–1965

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Walcott C, Gould JL, Kirschvink JL (1979) Pigeons have magnets. Science 205:1027–1029

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Wiltschko R, Wiltschko W (2003) Avian navigation: from historical to modern concepts. Animal Behav 65:257–272

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

These studies were funded in part by Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station Hatch Grant 0731.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chris A. Pritsos.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Moye, J.K., Pritsos, C.A. Effects of Chlorpyrifos and Aldicarb on Flight Activity and Related Cholinesterase Inhibition in Homing Pigeons, Columba livia: Potential for Migration Effects. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 84, 677–681 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-010-0020-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Environmental exposure
  • Migration
  • Cholinesterase inhibitors
  • Homing pigeon