Pesticide, Organochloride, DDT, Chlordane, Corynorhinus rafinesquii


Animals in agricultural settings may be subject to bioaccumulation of toxins. For the last several years, we collected hair samples from bats and rodents in an agricultural area near Bayou Bartholomew in Drew County, Arkansas. Samples were submitted to the Center of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of Connecticut for wide-screen toxin analysis. Several of these samples contained measurable amounts of organochloride pesticides or their metabolites, including some that have been banned for decades, such as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and chlordane. In addition, we collected several samples of soil from within an agricultural field, from adjacent edge habitat, from alongside the bank of the Bayou, and from the bed of the Bayou itself. Although none of these samples tested positive for DDT or chlordane, all of the samples except one contained measurable amounts of metabolites from these pesticides. This study raises questions about environmental persistence of DDT/DDE and other organochlorides. There may be risk to wildlife populations, warranting further investigation into effects of long-term exposure to these toxins.