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The assessment of secondary poisoning is an important consideration in the hazard evaluation of predator control agents and rodenticide baits. The selection of an appropriate test animal model is difficult because classic laboratory species are frequently inappropriate, and the availability and reliability of wild species for testing is limited. The laughing gull (Larus atricilla) has demonstrated its usefulness as a secondary poisoning model in the laboratory and shown species sensitivity through case history documentation of secondary poisoning mortality in the field.
A number of new candidate rodenticides are being developed throughout the world for control of rodent pests in domestic, industrial, and agricultural marketplaces. Because one or more of these rodenticides could have a wide variety of outdoor uses, the effects of these substances on the environment must be evaluated in terms of both their toxicity and their exposure. The portion of that evaluation which is to be considered in this paper concerns the assessment of secondary poisoning of birds, utilizing the laughing gull as a model for an avian predator.
secondary poisoning, hazard assessment, toxicology, wildlife, Larus atricilla
Wildlife toxicologist, Wildlife International Ltd., Easton, Md.
Senior information scientist, ICI Americas Inc., Goldsboro, N.C.