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Effects on birds of an aerial application of fenthion, a potent organophosphorus cholinesterase (ChE)-inhibiting insecticide, were assessed on four study sites 1.8 to 3.6 km2 in size. These sites were located within 121.5 km2 of wet meadows treated with 47 g of fenthion (AI) per ha in ultra-low-volume formulation. Assessment methods were searches for sick or dead birds, measurements of brain ChE activity in specimens found dead or collected alive at different time intervals, and counts of bird populations. After treatment, 99 birds and 15 mammals were found sick or dead; 106 of these were on one site. Brain ChE activity in dead birds was depressed sufficiently to indicate that death was caused by an anti-ChE substance. Brain ChE activity in three common bird species collected alive showed the greatest reduction 2 days postspray. Two of these species had ChE activity that was still significantly (P<0.05) depressed 15 days postspray. Bird populations declined most where mortality was heaviest. Fenthion sprayed for mosquito control was life threatening to many birds inhabiting treated meadows.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: August 1, 1983
More about this publication?
Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.