Neonicotinoids are one of the most diffusely used classes of pesticides whose level of danger toward non-target invertebrate and vertebrate species has raised increasing concern in the last decades. Among vertebrates, birds are particularly susceptible to unintentional neonicotinoid poisoning since they can be exposed through different pathways, including ingestion of dressed seeds, sucking of contaminated pollen, ingestion of sprayed insects, predation on contaminated aquatic and terrestrial preys. In the present study, we investigated the possible exposure of seabirds by measuring the residues of five neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam) in samples of pooled feathers collected from fledglings of the strictly piscivorous Sandwich tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) and the mixotrophic species Mediterranean gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus). At least one neonicotinoid was quantified in all the Mediterranean gull samples (n = 11) and 89% of the analysed Sandwich tern samples (n = 36). The active principles with the highest quantification rates were imidacloprid (100% in Mediterranean gulls and 58% in Sandwich terns) and clothianidin (100% in Mediterranean gulls and 61% in Sandwich terns), while thiacloprid was the less frequently detected pesticide (<20% of samples in both species). Mean concentrations ± standard error for imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam were 8.8 ± 1.4, 4.5 ± 0.19 and 0.16 ± 0.02 ng g−1 for the Mediterranean gull, and 5.8 ± 0.55, 0.60 ± 0.08 and 0.36 ± 0.03 ng g−1for the Sandwich tern, respectively. Our data evidenced the exposure of seabirds to neonicotinoids and the further need to investigate the extent of neonicotinoid contamination in non-agricultural ecosystems.

The ubiquity of neonicotinoid contamination: Residues in seabirds with different trophic habits

Distefano, Gabriele Giuseppe;Zangrando, Roberta;Panzarin, Lucio;Gambaro, Andrea;Volpi Ghirardini, Annamaria;Picone, Marco
2022

Abstract

Neonicotinoids are one of the most diffusely used classes of pesticides whose level of danger toward non-target invertebrate and vertebrate species has raised increasing concern in the last decades. Among vertebrates, birds are particularly susceptible to unintentional neonicotinoid poisoning since they can be exposed through different pathways, including ingestion of dressed seeds, sucking of contaminated pollen, ingestion of sprayed insects, predation on contaminated aquatic and terrestrial preys. In the present study, we investigated the possible exposure of seabirds by measuring the residues of five neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam) in samples of pooled feathers collected from fledglings of the strictly piscivorous Sandwich tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis) and the mixotrophic species Mediterranean gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus). At least one neonicotinoid was quantified in all the Mediterranean gull samples (n = 11) and 89% of the analysed Sandwich tern samples (n = 36). The active principles with the highest quantification rates were imidacloprid (100% in Mediterranean gulls and 58% in Sandwich terns) and clothianidin (100% in Mediterranean gulls and 61% in Sandwich terns), while thiacloprid was the less frequently detected pesticide (<20% of samples in both species). Mean concentrations ± standard error for imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam were 8.8 ± 1.4, 4.5 ± 0.19 and 0.16 ± 0.02 ng g−1 for the Mediterranean gull, and 5.8 ± 0.55, 0.60 ± 0.08 and 0.36 ± 0.03 ng g−1for the Sandwich tern, respectively. Our data evidenced the exposure of seabirds to neonicotinoids and the further need to investigate the extent of neonicotinoid contamination in non-agricultural ecosystems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3749314
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