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Organophosphate insecticide poisoning of Canada geese in the Texas panhandle

June 16, 2010

Sixteen hundred waterfowl, mostly Canada Geese, died near Etter, Texas, in late January 1981 from anticholinesterase poisoning. Winter wheat in the area of the die-off had been treated with organophosphate insecticides to control greenbugs. Cholinesterase (ChE) levels in brains of a sample of geese found dead were 75% below normal, enough to account for death (Ludke et al. 1975). The gastrointestinal (G I) tracts of geese found dead were packed with winter wheat; gas chromatography techniques identified parathion and methyl parathion in the GI tract contents. Residues of both chemicals were confirmed by mass spectrometry. We recommend that less toxic materials, such as malathion, be used on grain crops when waterfowl are in the vicinity of treatment.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1982
Title Organophosphate insecticide poisoning of Canada geese in the Texas panhandle
Authors D. H. White, C. A. Mitchell, L.D. Wynn, Edward L. Flickinger, E. J. Kolbe
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Field Ornithology
Index ID 5221732
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center