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Ecotoxicological information

Toxicity to birds

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Administrative data

short-term toxicity to birds: acute oral toxicity test
Type of information:
experimental study
Adequacy of study:
supporting study
3 (not reliable)
Rationale for reliability incl. deficiencies:
significant methodological deficiencies
The study was conducted according to published methods, but not using any available guidelines nor GLP. Minimal details were provided regarding experimental methods.

Data source

Reference Type:
The Acute Oral Toxicity, Repellency, and Hazard Potential of 998 Chemicals to One or More Species of Wild and Domestic Birds
Schafer EW, Bowles WA, Hurlbut J
Bibliographic source:
Arch. Environm. Contam. Toxicol., 12:355-382

Materials and methods

Principles of method if other than guideline:
Actue oral toxicity test of multiple chemicals in several avian species. The chemicals were suspended in propylene glycol, according to methods described by DeCino et al. (1966), Schafer (1972), and Schafer et al. (1967). Other dosing methods were occasionally used (pellets, gelatin capsules), but are not noted in the tables (Schafer, 1972).
GLP compliance:

Test material

Constituent 1
Chemical structure
Reference substance name:
EC Number:
EC Name:
Cas Number:
Molecular formula:
Details on test material:
- Name of test material (as cited in study report): m-phenylenediamine
Dose method:
Analytical monitoring:
not specified
Details on preparation and analysis of diet:
The chemicals included technical and analytical grade, pesticidal, pharmaceutical and other commercial or experimental compounds. The chemicals were suspended in propylene glycol, according to methods described by DeCino et al. (1966), Schafer (1972), and Schafer et al. (1967). Other dosing methods were occasionally used (pellets, gelatin capsules), but are not noted in the tables (Schafer, 1972).

Test organisms

Test organisms (species):
other: Coturnix coturnix
Details on test organisms:
- Common name: Coturnix
- Source: wild-trapped birds and domestic
- Acclimation: Wild-trapped birds were pre-conditioned to captivity for 2 to 6 weeks.


Details on examinations and observations:
LD50 values, repellency tests, and repellency-toxicity index (hazard factor) were examined.

Repellency tests were conducted by the method of Starr et al. (1964) and Schafer and Brunton (1971), and the R50's (analogous to LD50's) were calculated either by the method of Litchfield and Wilcoxin (1949) or Thompson and Weil (1952).

A repellency-toxicity index (hazard factor) was calculated by assuming that at the R50 level, a sixty-five gram male Redwing would consume 50% of his approximate individual maximum food capacity of 1 gram. By making this estimate, it was possible to estimate the mg/kg of a chemical that could conceivably be ingested by a Redwing at a given R50 level. This value, when divided by the acute oral LD50, provides an index for indicating how likely it would be for acute oral poisoning to occur in the wild. An index value > 1.00 indicated well-accepted toxic agents that have definite potential for causing acute poisoning episodes, an index value ≥ 0.25 ≤ 1.00 indicates those compounds with a possible potential, and an index value < 0.25 indicates those compounds with little or no potential to cause acute avian poisoning episodes, at least in Redwings.

Statistical comparisons of species sensitivities and ranked data were by Friedman's ranking procedure and ANOVA followed by Duncan's Multiple Range Test. Although the non-parametric Friedman's procedure is a more accurate and valid method for determining the significance of the data, ANOVA resulted in a similar evaluation and allowed for the three most tested species to be separated. In addition, Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated for Redwing R50's and LD50's to determine possible correlations.

Results and discussion

Effect levels
Dose descriptor:
Effect level:
562 mg/kg bw
Basis for effect:
Further details on results:
The report presents a tabulated listing of the acute oral toxicity (LD50) of the 998 chemicals to one or more of the avian species (Redwing, Starling, Coturnix) plus the avian repellency values (R50) and the toxicity-repellency index for Redwings. Redwings were significantly more sensitive than Starlings (p = 0.001), and Starlings and Coturnix were not different (p = 0.05). The difference in toxicological sensitivity between Redwings and Starlings was 2.1x and the difference between Coturnix and Redwings was 1.4x. Statistical comparisons of the correlation between Redwing LD50’s and R50’s were made to determine the validity of observations made over the past 20 years indicating that avian repellent activity appears to increase with increasing acute oral toxicity. Of the 998 chemicals tested, Redwing R50’s and LD50’s are presented for 836. Of the 836, R50 and LD50 values for 501 chemicals (60%) were both or greater than selected minimum activity levels (1.00% for R50 and 100 mg/kg or (90 mg/kg) for LD50), 84 (10.1%) were repellent at or below 1.00% but toxic above 100 mg/kg, 75 (8.9%) were toxic at or below 100 mg/kg but repellent above 1.00%, 41 (4.9%) were not usable and 135 (16.2%) possessed activity in the range (R50 ≤ 1.00%, LD50 ≤ 100 mg/kg) that could be used to examine the relationship between these two factors. However, neither Pearson nor Spearman correlation coefficients (0.33 and 0.43, respectively) showed any positive correlation between R50’s and LD50’s. Thus, the data indicated that gross acute toxicity, as defined by the LD50, is not positively related to gross repellency, as defined by the R50, at least over the small range examined.

The repellency/toxicity index or acute avian hazard index was calculated where one or both R50 and LD50 were known. Of the 223 chemicals for which definite index values could be calculated, 124 fell into the > 1.00 class, 47 into the ≥ 0.25 ≤ 1.00 class, and 52 in the < 0.25 class. This index appears to have great potential for predicting those chemicals that may cause acute avian poisoning episodes in the field.

Any other information on results incl. tables

Other published LD50 (mg/kg) (no citation provided)

Coturnix LD50 (mg/kg)



Applicant's summary and conclusion

This study established an acute LD50 for the test substance in Coturnix coturnix of 562 mg/kg bw.
Executive summary:

This study established an acute LD50 for the test substance in Coturnix coturnix of 562 mg/kg bw.