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Appropriate exposure estimates for wildlife risk assessments of crop protection products based on continuous radio telemetry: A case study with woodpigeons

Ludwigs, Jan‐Dieter, Ebeling, Markus, Fredricks, Timothy B., Murfitt, Roger C., Kragten, Steven
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2017 v.36 no.5 pp. 1270-1277
Columba palumbus, agricultural land, birds, case studies, diet, food animals, foraging, habitats, mammals, pesticides, plant protection, radio telemetry, risk, risk assessment, wildlife, United Kingdom
The registration of pesticides follows guidance published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). As a default, the EFSA guidance document on risk assessment for birds and mammals assumes that animals feed exclusively on pesticide‐treated fields. However, the guidance document suggests refining the risk via the proportion of food animals obtain from a treated field or specific crop (expressed via the portion of diet obtained from a treated area [PT value]). The EFSA guidance equalizes the portion of food taken from a treated area per day with the portion of time spent potentially foraging over the course of a day within this area. Therefore, radiotracking is commonly used to gather species‐, crop‐, and season‐specific PT data, and radio telemetry of continuously tracked farmland species can deliver individual PT values for a given day, crop, and species. In the present study the authors introduce a way of calculating long‐term PT values based on empirically recorded data via telemetry field studies for the most appropriate use in wildlife risk assessment of pesticides. The novel aspect of the proposal is that the authors follow the prerequisite given by EFSA to cover the long‐term risk by introducing 21‐d PT values that aim to cover both intra‐ and inter‐individual variability of foraging focal farmland species in cropped habitats. Currently, the intra‐individual variability is not taken into account for PT calculations. The authors demonstrate this approach and discuss EFSA guidance input requirements for PT values recorded in field studies, based on a PT field study conducted with woodpigeons (Columba palumbus) radiotracked in an agricultural landscape in the United Kingdom. The results indicate that a 21‐d PT value considering intra‐individual variability gives a more appropriate PT value for long‐term risk assessments. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1270–1277. © 2016 SETAC