DDT, DDD, and DDE in birds

Edited by: W. Nelson Beyer and James P. Meador



This chapter summarizes residue levels of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), DDD, and DDE three compounds in birds that are diagnostic for or are associated with mortality and important sublethal effects and suggests improvements in design of contemporary field studies that will result in maximum usefulness in interpreting residue data. Heath et al. first documented eggshell thinning and associated lowered reproductive success of experimental birds on DDE diets. Although there were several studies of eggshell thinning of birds that were given diets containing technical DDT, most did not list residues in eggs, and DDE-not DDT-comprises most of dietary exposure of wild birds with significant eggshell thinning. Although DDE was responsible for most reproductive failure in birds, very high levels of DDT in ring-necked pheasant eggs in California may have caused reproductive problems, such as crippling and mortality of young. Residues in tissues, particularly brain, have proven to be diagnostic of lethality in animals on dietary dosages of DDT, DDD, and DDE in experiments.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title DDT, DDD, and DDE in birds
Chapter 12
DOI 10.1201/b10598-13
Year Published 2011
Language English
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 20 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Environmental contaminants in biota: Interpreting tissue concentrations
First page 425
Last page 444
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