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A large portable enclosure method for assessing hazards of vertebrate pesticides to nontarget game birds under simulated field conditions is described. In each (9.8 by 2.4 by 1.2-m) enclosure, small groups of test birds are exposed to one of several levels of pesticide treatment similar to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's protocol for large-pen simulated field studies. The versatility of portable enclosures allows tests to be conducted over various natural or cultivated food crops to simulate various patterns of pesticide use. Birds are given free choice of dry bait pesticides and naturally occurring food crops. During testing, the enclosures are moved daily over similarly treated areas to provide a constant pesticide exposure factor and to replenish the available forage for test birds. A fluorescent particle tracer is used in the pesticide formulation to assess the daily acceptance of pesticide material by the test birds from fecal analysis. Advantages and possible applications of this method are discussed.
vertebrate pest control, hazard assessment, game birds, portabl enclosures, simulated field method
Wildlife biologist, Kentucky Research Station, Section of Bird Damage Control, Denver Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bowling Green, Ky.
Wildlife Technician, Section of Mammal Damage Control, Denver Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Denver, Colo.