Despite widespread use and benefit, there are growing concerns regarding hazards of second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides to non-target wildlife which may result in expanded use of first-generation compounds, including chlorophacinone (CPN). The toxicity of CPN over a 7-day exposure period was investigated in American kestrels (Falco sparverius) fed either rat tissue mechanically-amended with CPN, tissue from rats fed Rozol® bait (biologically-incorporated CPN), or control diets (tissue from untreated rats or commercial bird of prey diet) ad libitum. Nominal CPN concentrations in the formulated diets were 0.15, 0.75 and 1.5 µg/g food wet weight, and measured concentrations averaged 94 % of target values. Kestrel food consumption was similar among groups and body weight varied by less than 6 %. Overt signs of intoxication, liver CPN residues, and changes in prothrombin time (PT), Russell’s viper venom time (RVVT) and hematocrit, were generally dose-dependent. Histological evidence of hemorrhage was present at all CPN dose levels, and most frequently observed in pectoral muscle and heart. There were no apparent differences in toxicity between mechanically-amended and biologically-incorporated CPN diet formulations. Dietary-based toxicity reference values at which clotting times were prolonged in 50 % of the kestrels were 79.2 µg CPN consumed/kg body weight-day for PT and 39.1 µg/kg body weight-day for RVVT. Based upon daily food consumption of kestrels and previously reported CPN concentrations found in small mammals following field baiting trials, these toxicity reference values might be exceeded by free-ranging raptors consuming such exposed prey. Tissue-based toxicity reference values for coagulopathy in 50 % of exposed birds were 0.107 µg CPN/g liver wet weight for PT and 0.076 µg/g liver for RVVT, and are below the range of residue levels reported in raptor mortality incidents attributed to CPN exposure. Sublethal responses associated with exposure to environmentally realistic concentrations of CPN could compromise survival of free-ranging raptors, and should be considered in weighing the costs and benefits of anticoagulant rodenticide use in pest control and eradication programs.
|Title||Toxicity reference values for chlorophacinone and their application for assessing anticoagulant rodenticide risk to raptors|
|Authors||Barnett A. Rattner, Katherine E. Horak, Rebecca S. Lazarus, Sandra L. Schultz, Susan Knowles, Benjamin G. Abbo, Steven F. Volker|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Contaminant Biology Program|
Barnett Rattner, Ph.D.
Barnett Rattner, Ph.D.