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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comparative Toxicity of Diphacinone to Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and American Kestrels (Falco sparverius)


The acute oral toxicity of the anticoagulant rodenticide diphacinone was found to be about 20 times greater to American kestrels (LD50=97 mg/kg) than to northern bobwhite (LD50=2,014 mg/kg). Several precise and sensitive clotting assays (prothrombin time, Russell’s Viper venom time, thrombin clotting time) were adapted for use in these species, and this combination of assays is recommended to detect effects of diphacinone and other rodenticides on coagulation. Oral administration of diphacinone over a range of doses (sublethal to the extrapolated LD15) prolonged prothrombin time and Russell’s Viper venom time within 24 to 48 hrs post-exposure. Prolongation of in vitro clotting time reflects impaired coagulation complex activity and was detected before or at the onset of overt signs of toxicity and lethality. These data will assist in the development of a pharmacodynamic model to assess and predict rodenticide toxicity to non-target avian species.

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