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Document Title:

AVIAN CONSUMPTION AND USE OF CONTAMINATED WATER SOURCES: TOXICOLOGICAL ASSESSMENTS OF EXPOSURE, EFFECTS AND SUSCEPTIBILITY. : Final Report - Part I

AUTHOR(S):
John Isanhart Stephen Cox Reynaldo PatiƱo Michael J. Hooper


REPORT NUMBER:
RWO55-T04-47-A
PAGES:
1 - 74

PUBLICATION DATE: February 15, 2007

ABSTRACT:
Introduction: Availability of clean water sources is critical to the daily survival of wild bird species, while migratory species are dependent on water sources as they labor to reach their wintering or breeding grounds. Water availability in the western U.S. is a particularly important consideration in the life of local or migratory birds as its scarcity makes it a critical commodity. The occurrence of contaminated water sources in the arid or semi-arid areas of the western U.S. pose an important threat to local and migratory birds, as their need for water can often preclude their ability to choose between a variety of sources. Current data suggest that passerines and waterfowl are the species most at risk to injury from drinking acid mine tailings water (Stubblefield et al., 1997; Stratus, 2003). There is relatively little other data that exist on this topic, and what other information that does exist primarily addresses the toxicity of zinc, lead, and/or cyanide-rich water from mining sites and acidified water bodies to birds (Beyer et al., 2004; Henny et al., 1994; Rattner et al., 1987; Foster, 1999; Tyler and Omerod, 1992; Read and Pickering, 1999; Read, 1999; Sileo et al., 2004). Poisoning of birds that use toxic tailings waters is of particular concern in arid Australia, with approximately 1000 birds dying annually in gold mine tailings dams (Read, 1999; Minerals Council of Australia, 1996). Examples of bird poisonings from water sources other than cyanide contaminated water in the U.S. include incidents at the Berkeley Pit, Butte, MT (ENSR, 1996) and a petroleum refinery fly ash pond in Delaware (Rattner et al., 2006). Such anthropogenic landscape modifications pose compounding problems for nomadic or migratory species that are in search of food, water, and/or resting sites.

PUBLISHED BY:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

DOCUMENT LINK:
http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/Documents/Avian_Consumption_and_Use_of_Contaminated_Water_Sources_Final_Report_Part1.pdf, 190 KB

ADDITIONAL LINKS:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Southwest Region

Last updated: February 13, 2013