The most common rodent control method worldwide is anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs), which cause death by internal bleeding. ARs can transfer to non-target predators via secondary exposure, i.e. by consuming contaminated rodents. Here we quantify the prevalence of seven AR substances in the liver tissues of altogether 17 mammalian or avian predator or scavenger species in Finland. In addition, we identify the environmental and biological factors potentially linked to secondary AR poisoning. No previous AR screenings have been conducted in the country, despite the widespread use of ARs and their potential impacts on the high levels of the ecosystem food chain. ARs were detected (>= 0.3 mu g/kg) in 82% of the 131 samples. The most prevalent and the AR with highest concentrations was bromadiolone (65% of samples). In 77% of the positive samples more than one (2-5) different ARs were detected. Of the environmental variables, we only found a weakly positive relationship between the coumatetralyl concentration and the livestock farm density. Conversely, overall AR concentration and number, as well as the concentration of three separate ARs (cournatetralyl, difenacoum and bromadiolone) differed among the three species groups tested, with the group "other mammals" (largely represented by red fox and raccoon dog) having higher values than the groups presented by mustelids or by birds. ARs are authorized only as biocides in Finland and a national strategy on risk management (e.g. for minimising secondary poisoning of non-target species) of ARs was adopted in 2011. Based on these results it appears that the risk mitigation measures (RMMs) either have not been followed or have not been effective in preventing wide scale secondary exposure. Continued monitoring of AR residues in non-target species is needed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of current RMMs and a need for new ones to reduce the risk of secondary poisoning. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- 1181 Ekologi, evolutionsbiologi