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Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides in tawny owls (Strix aluco) from Great Britain

Walker, Lee A.; Turk, Anthony; Long, Sara M.; Wienburg, Claire L.; Best, Jennifer; Shore, Richard F.. 2008 Second generation anticoagulant rodenticides in tawny owls (Strix aluco) from Great Britain. Science of the Total Environment, 392 (1). 93-98. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.10.061

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Abstract/Summary

Secondary exposure of vertebrate predators to second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) is widespread in Britain. Tawny owl (Strix aluco) populations in the UK have declined since the 1970s, when SGARs were first introduced, and these compounds may have contributed to the decline in owl numbers. Our aims were to conduct the first systematic survey of SGAR exposure in tawny owls and ascertain whether there had been a change in the proportion of exposed birds that was concurrent with the decline in the population. Liver difenacoum, bromadiolone, flocoumafen and brodifacoum concentrations in British tawny owls from two periods (1990-1993 and 2003-2005) were quantified. In total, some 20% of birds contained detectable residues of one or more SGAR. The extent of exposure (% of birds exposed, magnitude of residues) to different SGARs did not change consistently between time periods. Of the raptors analysed to date in Britain, tawny owls had the lowest proportion of individuals that contained detectable liver residues and so appear to be the least vulnerable to exposure and/or assimilation of SGARs. We found no clear evidence of an association between SGAR exposure and a decline in tawny owl numbers in Britain between 1990 and 2005.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.10.061
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > SE01B Sustainable Monitoring, Risk Assessment and Management of Chemicals > SE01.4 Monitoring and predicting the distribution of chemicals in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems
CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > SE01B Sustainable Monitoring, Risk Assessment and Management of Chemicals > SE01.5 Exposure, Effects and Managing Risks of Chemicals
CEH Sections: Shore
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: The definitive version of this paper is available at http://www.elsevier.com/
Additional Keywords: anticoagulant rodenticide, tawny owl, UK, liver residues, population change
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Ecology and Environment
Chemistry
Date made live: 30 Jan 2008 11:52
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2234

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