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Effect assessment of fipronil treated seeds in red-legged partridges

AuthorsLópez-Antia, Ana ; Ortiz-Santaliestra, Manuel E. ; Mougeot, François ; Mateo, Rafael
Issue Date2013
Citation23rd SETAC Europe Annual Meeting (2013)
AbstractSeed coating is a widespread practice in agriculture that reduces environmental risks by minimizing diffuse application of pesticides. However, for granivorous farmland birds like the red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa), treated seeds provide large amounts of food in a short time, thus posing a risk of poisoning. Fipronil is a phenyl pyrazole insecticide used for maize seed coating whose toxicological effects on avian species have hardly been studied. The aim of this study was to determine the responses of partridges when fed with a mixture of commercial fipronil-coated and untreated maize seeds through the analysis of i) the degree of rejection of the treated seeds, and ii) the effects their ingestion on bird survival, physiology, fitness and reproduction. Thirteen breeding pairs were fed with a 20:80 mixture of treated and untreated seeds during ten days whiel other 13 pairs were fed with untreated maize only. Exposition lasted for 10 days in April coinciding with the maize sowing season. Partridges did not discrimante between treated and untreated seed, being the percentage of treated seeds in the diet (17%) not statistically different from what was initially provided. However, exposed partirdiges reduced their overall amount of consumed food with respect to controls (10.13±1.06 vs 33.47±10.95 g / individual / day; p< 0.001). We found three casualties in the fipronil treatment versus none in the controls (p=0.083). Exposure to firpronil treated seeds also tended to reduce body condition in a 19.6% compared to controls(p=0.069), decrease the eye ring pigmentation (10.7% lower than in controls; p< 0.001) and compromise the cellular immune response (27.53% lower than in controls; p=0.059). With regards to reproduction, we found an increase in the mass of fertilized eggs laid by the treated partridges (3.4% heavier than controls; p=0.043) but a reduced fecundation rate (69.05 vs 84.05%; p=0.062). The use of maize treated seeds is a widespread parctice and although at the time of maize sowing partridges may have alternative food sources, the ingestion of a small amount of these seeds causes significant subletal effects that may ultimately contribute to population decline. Upcoming studies must include an assessment of the environemntal exposure of partridges to maize coated seeds.
DescriptionResumen del trabajo presentado al 23rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, celebrado en Glasgow (Escocia) del 12 al 16 de mayo de 2013.-- et al.
Appears in Collections:(IREC) Comunicaciones congresos
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