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Lopez-Antia A.,Institute of Research in Game Resources | Ortiz-Santaliestra M.E.,Institute of Research in Game Resources | Ortiz-Santaliestra M.E.,University of Koblenz-Landau | Blas E.G.-D.,Institute of Research in Game Resources | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2015

Pesticide research traditionally has focused on compounds with high acute toxicity or persistence, but the adverse sublethal effects of pesticides with different properties also may have important consequences on exposed wildlife. The authors studied the effects of thiram, a fungicide used for seed coating with known effects as endocrine disruptor. Red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa; n=15 pairs per treatment group) were fed wheat treated with 0%, 20%, or 100% of the thiram application rate used in autumn (25 d) and late winter (10 d) to mimic cereal sowing periods. The authors studied the effects on reproductive performance, carotenoid-based ornamentation and cellular immune responsiveness of adult partridges, and their relationship with changes in oxidative stress biomarkers and plasma biochemistry. The authors also studied the effect of parental exposure on egg antioxidant content and on the survival, growth, and cellular immune response of offspring. Exposure to thiram-coated seeds delayed egg laying, reduced clutch size, and affected egg size and eggshell thickness. Partridges exposed to the 20% thiram dose exhibited reduced egg fertility and brood size (55% and 28% of controls, respectively). Chick survival was unaffected by parental exposure to treated seeds, but adverse effects on their growth rate and cellular immune response were apparent. These effects on reproduction and immune function may have important demographic consequences on farmland bird populations. © 2015 SETAC.

Lopez-Antia A.,Institute of Research in Game Resources | Ortiz-Santaliestra M.E.,Institute of Research in Game Resources | Ortiz-Santaliestra M.E.,University of Koblenz-Landau | Camarero P.R.,Institute of Research in Game Resources | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Science and Technology | Year: 2015

Fipronil is an insecticide commonly used in agriculture, but there are growing concerns over its environmental impacts (e.g., harmful effects on pollinators). Fipronil-treated seed ingestion might threaten granivorous farmland birds, in particular, Gallinaceous birds that are particularly sensitive to this insecticide. We report here on exposure risk and effects in a game bird of high socioeconomic importance, the red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa). We fed captive birds with untreated maize (controls) or with a mixture of untreated-treated maize (ratio 80:20; exposed birds) during 10 days at the beginning of the breeding period (n = 12 pairs in each group). We first show that exposed partridges did not reject treated seeds but reduced food intake and lost body condition. We further studied the effects of treated seed ingestion on adult survival, oxidative balance, plasma biochemistry, carotenoid-based coloration, cellular immune response, steroid hormone levels, and reproduction. Fipronil exposure altered blood biochemistry and sexual hormone levels and reduced cellular immune response, antioxidant levels, and carotenoid-based coloration. Exposed pairs also had reduced egg fecundation rate and produced eggs with fewer antioxidants and offspring that had reduced cellular immune response. These negative effects on adult partridges, their reproductive performance, and offspring quality highlight that fipronil-treated seed ingestion is a significant threat to wild birds. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

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