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Does small mammal prey guild affect the exposure of predators to anticoagulant rodenticides?

Tosh, D.G.; McDonald, R.A.; Bearhop, S.; Lllewellyn, N.R.; Fee, S.; Sharp, E.A.; Barnett, E.A.; Shore, R.F.. 2011 Does small mammal prey guild affect the exposure of predators to anticoagulant rodenticides? Environmental Pollution, 159 (10). 3106-3112. 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.03.028

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Abstract/Summary

Ireland has a restricted small mammal prey guild but still includes species most likely to consume anticoagulant rodenticide (AR) baits. This may enhance secondary exposure of predators to ARs. We compared liver AR residues in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Northern Ireland (NI) with those in foxes from Great Britain which has a more diverse prey guild but similar agricultural use of ARs. Liver ARs were detected in 84% of NI foxes, more than in a comparable sample of foxes from Scotland and similar to that of suspected AR poisoned animals from England and Wales. High exposure in NI foxes is probably due to greater predation of commensal rodents and non-target species most likely to take AR baits, and may also partly reflect greater exposure to highly persistent brodifacoum and flocoumafen. High exposure is likely to enhance risk and Ireland may be a sentinel for potential effects on predator populations.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.03.028
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 1 - Monitoring and Interpretation of Biogeochemical and Climate Changes > BGC - 1.1 - Monitor concentrations, fluxes, physico-chemical forms of current and emerging pollutants ...
CEH Sections: Shore
ISSN: 0269-7491
Additional Keywords: second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides, prey guild, secondary exposure, fox, habitat, Ireland, Great Britain, flocoumafen, brodifacoum
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 29 Sep 2011 10:02
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/15193

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