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T5 AM Terrestrial Ecotoxicology
(ALB-1117-867878) Assessing uptake, elimination and toxicity of monosodium methanearsonate (MSMA), used for bark beetle control, in adult and nestling Zebra finches.
Albert, C1, Williams, T1, Morrissey, C2, Cullen, W3, Elliott, J2, 1 Simon Fraser Universtiy, Burnaby, BC, Canada2 Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada, Delta, BC, Canada3 University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
ABSTRACT- We are investigating the effects of monosodium methanearsonate (MSMA), an arsenic-based pesticide currently being used as a suppression strategy to control the mountain pine beetle in forests throughout British Columbia, on reproduction and chick development in local avian populations. In order to determine uptake, elimination and target tissues as well as any reproduction or growth effects of this compound, a laboratory study was conducted using zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) as a model songbird species. Adult zebra finches were dosed with MMAA (corresponds to MSMA at physiological pH) at 0, 8, 24 and 72 ug/g bw for two weeks and blood, feces and organ tissues were collected and analysed for total arsenic and arsenic speciation. Results showed accumulation of MMAA in adult finches in specific tissues such as brain, liver and kidney. Blood arsenic levels in adult finches corresponded to dosing schemes with mean concentrations of 0.38, 1.25, and 3.39 g/g dw total arsenic for low, medium and high dose groups respectively, while control birds averaged 0.07 g/g dw. In addition, zebra finch chicks were dosed with MMAA from day 1 to fledging at 0, 4, 12 and 24 g/g bw. Data on growth, survival and immune function were collected and blood and organ tissues were analysed for total arsenic. A high mortality rate in zebra finch nestlings in the medium and high dose groups suggests possible sensitivity to MMAA in early life stages. This study provides key data on the potential effects of MSMA to local avian populations exposed to the pesticide through consumption of contaminated bark beetles.
Key words: arsenic, songbirds, bark beetles, pesticide
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