Letter | Published:

DDE reduces Medullary Bone Formation in Birds

Abstract

DURING the past two decades residues of certain chlorinated hydrocarbons, especially DDT, have caused declines in the populations of various carnivorous birds in the North Temperate Zone by reducing their reproductive success1–3. Contaminated birds lay eggs with abnormally thin, insufficiently calcified shells, so that there is increased egg breakage and embryonic death4–9. Although adult mortality, abnormal behaviour, delayed ovulation and nesting, egg eating, and failure to lay eggs also sometimes result from such contamination1–3,8–11, the thin eggshell phenomenon is the chief cause of the declines in population3,6,8.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1

    Hickey, J. J., (edit.), Peregrine Falcon Populations: Their Biology and Decline (University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1969).

  2. 2

    Wurster, C. F., in Chemical Fallout (edit. by Miller, M. W. and Berg, G. G.), 368 (Thomas, Springfield, Illinois, 1969).

  3. 3

    Peakall, D. B., Sci. Amer., 222, 72 (1970).

  4. 4

    Ratcliffe, D. A., Nature, 215, 208 (1967).

  5. 5

    Hickey, J. J., and Anderson, D. W., Science, 162, 271 (1968).

  6. 6

    Heath, R. G., Spann, J., and Kreitzer, J. F., Nature, 224, 47 (1969).

  7. 7

    Bitman, J., Cecil, H. C., and Fries, G. F., Science, 168, 594 (1970).

  8. 8

    Porter, R. D., and Wiemeyer, S. N., Science, 165, 199 (1969).

  9. 9

    Peakall, D. B., Science, 168, 592 (1970).

  10. 10

    Keith, J. A., J. Appl. Ecol., 3 (Suppl.), 57 (1966).

  11. 11

    Jefferies, D. J., Ibis, 109, 266 (1967).

  12. 12

    Peakall, D. B., Nature, 216, 505 (1967).

  13. 13

    Risebrough, R. W., Rieche, P., Peakall, D. B., Herman, S. G., and Kirven, M. N., Nature, 220, 1098 (1968).

  14. 14

    Simkiss, K., Calcium in Reproductive Physiology (Reinhold, New York, 1967).

  15. 15

    Siegel, S., Nonparametric Statistics, 116 (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1956).

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.