FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2001
For pictures and more information; Lake Apopka
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today released detailed laboratory results from the 1999 Lake Apopka area bird deaths to members of the Technical Advisory Group which includes representatives of interested state, local and federal entities. The laboratory data show elevated levels of organochlorines (pesticides) in the birds tissues, including toxaphene, dieldrin and DDT. Some necropsies, including one for an endangered wood stork, prepared by the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin, determined that levels of dieldrin alone were sufficiently high to cause death.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is continuing to investigate the bird deaths.
The detailed report may be viewed at: http://law.southeast.fws.gov.
The Service responded to this incident on Jan.12, 1999. Since then, Service Law Enforcement Agents and Contamination Specialists have conducted investigations into the cause of the deaths as authorized by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at http://southeast.fws.gov. Our national home page is at: http://news.fws.gov/newsreleases/.
Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286