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Urbanization and cattle density are determinants in the exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides of non-target wildlife

Jhon J. López-Perea, Pablo R. Camarero, Ines S. Sánchez-Barbudo, Rafael Mateo
Environmental pollution 2019 v.244 pp. 801-808
Bubo bubo, Circus, Martes foina, Meles meles, Milvus milvus, Vulpes vulpes, agricultural land, animal tissues, anticoagulants, bioaccumulation, biocides, birds of prey, cattle, crops, environmental factors, farms, habitats, human population, liver, livestock and meat industry, logit analysis, nontarget organisms, plant protection, population density, risk, rodenticides, toxicity, urban areas, urbanization, wildlife, Spain
The persistence and toxicity of second generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs) in animal tissues make these compounds dangerous by biomagnification in predatory species. Here we studied the levels of SGARs in non-target species of wildlife and the environmental factors that influence such exposure. Liver samples of terrestrial vertebrates (n = 244) found dead between 2007 and 2016 in the region of Aragón (NE Spain) were analysed. The presence of SGARs was statistically analysed with binary or ordinal logistic models to study the effect of habitat characteristics including human population density, percentage of urban surface, livestock densities and surface of different types of crops. SGARs residues were detected in 83 (34%) of the animals and levels >200 ng/g were found in common raven (67%), red fox (50%), red kite (38%), Eurasian eagle-owl (25%), stone marten (23%), Eurasian buzzard (17%), northern marsh harrier (17%), and Eurasian badger (14%). The spatial analysis revealed that the presence of SGARs residues in wildlife was more associated with the use of these products as biocides in urban areas and cattle farms rather than as plant protection products in agricultural fields. This information permits to identify potential habitats where SGARs may pose a risk for predatory birds and mammals.