Behavioral responses of birds to pesticides and other contaminants

  • D. B. Peakall
Conference paper
Part of the Residue Reviews book series (RECT, volume 96)


At a symposium, which has been considered as a landmark in environmental concerns, held at the Institute for Terrestrial Ecology in 1965 the following statements on behavioral toxicology were made (Warner et al. 1966):
  1. (1)

    “The behavior (or activities) of an organism represents the final integrated result of a diversity of biochemical and physiological processes. Thus, a single behavioral parameter is generally more comprehensive than a physiological or biochemical parameter.

  2. (2)

    Behavioral patterns are known to be highly sensitive to changes in the steady state of an organism. This sensitivity is one of the key values for its use in exploring sublethal toxicity.

  3. (3)

    Behavioral measurements can usually be made without direct physical harm to the organism. With aquatic animals especially, implantation of detectors introduces problems of considerable complexity. Behavioral measurements can avoid this difficulty.”



Operant Behavior Courtship Behavior Herring Gull Mallard Duck Visual Cliff 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. B. Peakall
    • 1
  1. 1.Canadian Wildlife ServiceNational Wildlife Research CenterOttawaCanada

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