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Carbofuran and Wildlife Poisoning: Global Perspectives and Forensic Approaches

Carbofuran and Wildlife Poisoning: Global Perspectives and Forensic Approaches

Ngaio Richards (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-95110-0

Nov 2011

368 pages



This cutting-edge title is one of the first devoted entirely to the issue of carbofuran and wildlife mortality. It features a compilation of international contributions from policy-makers, researchers, conservationists and forensic practitioners and provides a summary of the history and mode of action of carbofuran, and its current global use. It covers wildlife mortality stemming from legal and illegal uses to this point, outlines wildlife rehabilitation, forensic and conservation approaches, and discuss global trends in responding to the wildlife mortality.

The subject of carbofuran is very timely because of recent parallel discussions to withdraw and reinstate the insecticide in different parts of the world. Incidences of intentional and unintentional wildlife poisonings using carbofuran are undeniably on the rise, especially in Africa and India and gatherings of stakeholders are being organized and convened on a global basis. There is still a need to consolidate information on the different experiences and approaches taken by stakeholders. Carbofuran and Wildlife Poisoning is a comprehensive overview of global wildlife mortality, forensic developments and monitoring techniques and is a definitive reference on the subject.

It comprises of historical and current perspectives, contributions from key stakeholders in the issue of global wildlife poisonings with carbofuran, people on the ground who deal with the immediate and long-term ramifications to wildlife, those who have proposed or are working towards mitigative measures and solutions, those in contact with intentional or unintentional 'offenders', those who have adapted and developed forensic methodology and are gathering evidence.

""Carbofuran and Wildlife Poisoning is a collection of meticulously researched papers from all around the world that provide shocking facts about the effects of a deadly insecticide on wildlife. The book discusses the hundreds of thousands of animals, from elephants to fish, that are poisoned each year, the efforts to rehabilitate those which have been rescued, and the often heroic efforts to ban or reduce the use of the deadly chemical. This book is a must for all those concerned with the problem.""
—Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder - the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace, October 2011

Preface xi

Acknowledgements xiii

Contributor biographies xv

1 An overview of the chemistry, manufacture, environmental fate and detection of carbofuran 1
Stephen Donovan, Mark Taggart, Ngaio Richards

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 The chemistry and mode of action of carbofuran 1

1.3 Manufacture and formulation of carbofuran 4

1.4 Carbofuran in the environment 5

1.4.1 Carbofuran precursors, metabolism and degradation products 6

1.5 Analytical methods used to detect carbofuran 8

1.5.1 Principles of chromatography 8

1.6 Conclusions 17

2 Carbofuran: Toxicity, diagnosing poisoning and rehabilitation of poisoned birds 19
Pierre Mineau, Stuart Porter, Carol Uphoff Meteyer

2.1 Acute toxicity of carbofuran to birds and mammals 19

2.2 Exposure routes for the liquid formulation 22

2.3 Exposure routes for granular carbofuran formulations 23

2.3.1 Direct ingestion 23

2.3.2 Contaminated soil invertebrates 25

2.3.3 Contaminated soil/sediments 26

2.4 The time course of carbofuran intoxication 26

2.5 Physiological effects and signs of intoxication 27

2.6 Physical field evidence and necropsy findings in poisonings due to AChE inhibiting compounds with special emphasis on carbofuran 28

2.7 Chemical and biochemical diagnosis of a carbofuran kill 31

2.8 Rehabilitation of poisoned wildlife 33

2.9 Conclusion 34

3 A chronicling of long-standing carbofuran use and its menace to wildlife in Kenya 39

3.1 Introduction 39
Joseph O. Lalah, Peter O. Otieno, Ngaio Richards

3.2 Background on pesticide use and environmental monitoring in Kenya 43
Joseph O. Lalah and Peter O. Otieno

3.2.1 Furadan use in rice farming: how carbofuran first gained entry into Kenya 43

3.2.2 Presence, persistence and degradation of carbofuran in Kenyan soils 46

3.2.3 General purchase and application of pesticides 48

3.2.4 General trends in use of pesticides in agricultural communities 49

3.3 Measuring the conservation threat that deliberate poisoning poses to birds in Kenya: The case of pesticide hunting with Furadan in the Bunyala Rice Irrigation Scheme 53
Martin Odino

3.3.1 Introduction 53

3.3.2 Methodology 54

3.3.3 Results of the study 57

3.3.4 Discussion 67

3.3.5 General conclusions 69

3.4 The role of carbofuran in the decline of lions and other carnivores in Kenya 70
Laurence Frank, Alayne Cotterill, Stephanie Dolrenry, Leela Hazzah

3.4.1 Background information 70

3.4.2 Use of poison to kill carnivores in Kenya 71

3.4.3 Methods used to assess repercussions to scavenging mammals 71

3.4.4 Results 72

3.4.5 Discussion 74

3.5 Threats of secondary Furadan poisoning to scavengers, especially vultures, in Kenya 74
Darcy Ogada

3.5.1 Misuse of Furadan to control farm pests 74

3.5.2 Effects of Furadan on vulture populations in Kenya 75

3.6 Forensic analysis of carbofuran in vultures and environmental samples collected from Laikipia and Isiolo districts 77
Peter Otieno, Joseph O. Lalah, Munir Z. Virani

3.6.1 Survey result 78

3.6.2 Analysis of environmental sample 78

3.6.3 Conclusions of the study 81

3.7 Repercussions of pesticides (including carbofuran) on nontarget, benefi cial insects and use of insects in forensic analyses in Kenya 81
Dino J. Martins

3.7.1 Studies on nontarget insects 81

3.7.2 Overview of insect diversity and abundance at a mammalian carcass: the use of insects in upcoming forensic investigations in Kenya 82

3.8 Analytical, legal and regulatory mechanisms in Kenya 84
Joseph O. Lalah and Peter O. Otieno

3.8.1 Analytical methodology required and research capacity available in Kenya 84

3.8.2 Legislation and regulation of pesticides in Kenya 85

3.9 General conclusions on carbofuran use, misuse and monitoring in Kenya 87
Joseph Lalah and Peter Otieno

4 Mitigating human-wildlife conflict and retaliatory poisonings in India to preserve biodiversity and maintain sustainable livelihoods 99
Venkataramanan, R. and Sreekumar, C.

4.1 Introduction 99

4.2 Conservation measures and human-wildlife conflicts 100

4.3 Types of human-wildlife confl ict 101

4.4 Regulation and management of human-wildlife conflict 105

4.5 Use of carbofuran in India 109

4.6 Use of carbofuran in relation to other compounds 110

4.7 Diagnosing carbofuran poisoning in India 110

4.8 Forensic facilities and analyses in India 112

4.9 Case studies: use of carbofuran for poisoning in relation to other compounds 113

4.9.1 Accidental exposure 113

4.9.2 Misuse of carbofuran 115

4.9.3 Deliberate poisoning using carbofuran and other compounds 116

4.10 Potential short and long-term solutions 121

4.10.1 Alternatives to carbofuran 121

4.10.2 Should carbofuran be banned in India? 122

4.11 Mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts 123

4.11.1 Habitat conservation 123

4.11.2 Community-based solutions 125

4.11.3 Compensation for loss of property 125

4.12 Conclusion 127

5 Regulation of carbofuran and its use to poison wildlife in the European Union and the rest of Europe 132

5.1 Introduction 132

5.2 Intentional poisoning of piscivorous species and other wildlife with carbofuran in the Czech Republic 135
Lukás Poledník, Katerina Poledníková, Jitka Vetrovcová, Václav Hlavác

5.2.1 Introduction 136

5.2.2 Poisoning of wildlife by carbofuran and its detection within the Czech Republic 136

5.2.3 Legal and institutional framework against wildlife poisoning in the Czech Republic 138

5.3 Persecution and poisoning of birds of prey in the Netherlands 139
Hugh Jansman, Peter van Tulden

5.3.1 Introduction 139

5.3.2 The scale of carbofuran use to poison wildlife, especially birds of prey, in the Netherlands 140

5.3.3 Detection of carbofuran and other compounds in wildlife carcasses 142

5.3.4 Recommendations 142

5.4 Initiatives underway to protect wildlife from carbofuran poisoning in Austria 144
Christian Pichler, Hermann Ammer

5.4.1 Introduction 143

5.4.2 Initiatives underway to generate awareness, about, and monitor incidents of, carbofuran-related wildlife mortality in Austria 144

5.4.3 Toxicological analysis of wildlife carcasses in Austria 146

5.4.4 Conclusions 146

5.5 Use of specialised canine units to detect poisoned baits and recover forensic evidence in Andalucía (Southern Spain) 147
Iñigo Fajardo, Antonio Ruiz, Irene Zorrilla, Antonio Valero, Isabel Fernández, Ernesto Sáez, F.M. Molino, Jesús Olivares

5.5.1 Introduction 147

5.5.2 Integration of canine units in the anti-poisoning strategy of the Government of Andalucía 149

5.5.3 Use of forensic procedures and techniques in the field and the laboratory 151

5.5.4 Conclusions 155

5.6 Sociopolitical and rural influences on the management and monitoring of carbofuran and its use to poison wildlife in Hungary 155
Péter Bedo“

5.6.1 Introduction 155

5.6.2 Incidents of carbofuran-related wildlife mortality in Hungary 156

5.6.3 Analysis of wildlife samples for poisons and other incidents of poisoning in Hungary 156

5.6.4 Conclusions 157

5.7 Leisure-based human-wildlife conflicts arising from the introduction of game species and repercussions to vultures across Croatia 157
Gordana Pavokovic

5.7.1 Introduction 157

5.7.2 Past registration and current use in Croatia 160

5.7.3 The use of carbofuran as a poison in relation to other compounds in Croatia 160

5.7.4 Threats to biodiversity, livelihoods and tourism on the Croatian islands 164

5.7.5 Nature protection and analytical capacity in Croatia 167

5.7.6 Recommended steps to address the current threat posed by carbofuran 168

6 Perspectives on wildlife poisoning by carbofuran in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland – with a particular focus on Scotland 171

6.1 An overview of the registration and withdrawal of carbofuran products 171

6.2 An overview of human-wildlife conflicts in the UK and ROI 173

6.3 The effect of carbofuran poisoning and other illegal persecution methods on raptor populations in Scotland 174
Ruth E. Tingay

6.4 A landowner's perspective on wildlife poisoning in Scotland 178
Douglas McAdam

6.5 Monitoring carbofuran abuse in Scotland 181
Michael J. Taylor

6.5.1 Introduction 181

6.5.2 The impact of carbofuran abuse in Scotland 182

6.5.3 Analytical methodology and recent developments 183

6.5.4 Conclusion and discussion 185

7 A Latin American perspective: the environmental impact of farming wheat and rice treated with carbofuran and Rhodamine B on Brazilian wild birds 189
Alexandre de Almeida and Álvaro Fernando de Almeida

7.1 Introduction 189

7.2 Materials and methods 192

7.3 Results and discussion: biological aspects of the environmental impact caused by carbofuran and Rhodamine B on Brazilian wild birds 195

7.3.1 Alternatives and mitigation 200

7.3.2 Avian mortality and some aspects that influence this estimate 201

8 Impacts of carbofuran on birds in Canada and the United States 208
Pierre Mineau, Linda Lyon, Stella McMillin

8.1 Introduction and short registration history of carbofuran in North America 208

8.2 Impacts from the sandcore (silica) granular formulations 210

8.2.1 Supervised field trials and surveillance exercises 210

8.2.2 Reported incidents where the product was applied according to label directions 214

8.3 Impacts from the corncob granular formulation 222

8.3.1 Supervised field trials 223

8.3.2 Reported incidents 224

8.4 Impacts from the flowable (liquid) formulation 225

8.4.1 Industry-supervised field trials 227

8.4.2 Field studies of carbofuran used as a grasshopper insecticide 230

8.4.3 Monitoring programmes in US cotton 234

8.4.4 Incidents 235

8.5 Evidence for secondary poisoning impacts with any formulation type 241

8.6 Impacts resulting from abuse cases regardless of formulation 242

8.7 Conclusions 243

9 Conclusions, recommendations and the way forward 251
Ngaio Richards

9.1 Wildlife mortality stemming from intentional misuse and legal/labelled use of carbofuran 251

9.2 Overall recommendations and the way forward 253

9.2.1 Address and mitigate the root causes of human-wildlife conflict 253

9.2.2 Increase grassroots educational initiatives 254

9.2.3 Enhance analytical capacity and increase sampling, testing and monitoring efforts 254

9.2.4 Conduct studies in critical but currently under-represented subjects 255

9.2.5 Coordinate international monitoring and conservation efforts 256

9.2.6 Address outstanding policy and accountability issues 256

Appendix 260

References 261

Index 263

“The book provides a compelling read to nonscientists as well as scientists in the area of ecology and wildlife conservation, and its integration of the toxic effects of carbofuran to a country’s resources and ecological system.”  (International Journal of Toxicology, 11 October 2012)

“This comprehensive, timely volume deals spe­cifically with use of the insecticide carbofuran and the global wildlife mortality and morbidity it has caused . . . Overall, this book is generally well-written, organized, and edited. Clearly, this book emerges as the definitive reference on this particular subject. This book will be very useful for wildlife toxicologists, field biologists and other field researchers, NGOs and other conservation organiza­tions, wildlife veterinarians and reha­bilitators, and wildlife law enforcement agencies.”  (Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation, 2012)

""Carbofuran and Wildlife Poisoning: Global Perspectives and Forensic Approaches is useful for anyone who wishes to gain insight into the complexities of current global envi-ronmental problems and control as well as those interested in the nar-rower area of Carbofuran use and abuse."" (Environmental Chemistry Group Bulletin, 1 January 2012)

“Carbofuran and Wildlife Poisoning is a collection of meticulously researched papers from all around the world that provide shocking facts about the effects of a deadly insecticide on wildlife.  The book discusses the hundreds of thousands of animals, from elephants to fish, that are poisoned each year, the efforts to rehabilitate those which have been rescued, and the often heroic efforts to ban or reduce the use of the deadly chemical. This book is a must for all those concerned with the problem. “

Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE
Founder - the Jane Goodall Institute &
UN Messenger of Peace

October 2011


“This thoroughly informative work brings together a wide range of reports by experts and dramatically underscores the very real threat that pesticides pose to our world of nature.  It is a ""must have"" work for reference and knowledge.” from Richard Leakey, Chairman of Wildlife Direct, September 2011