Evaluation of Plasma Cholinesterase Activity in Native Birds from Pesticide-Exposed Agricultural Lands

Irene Ruvalcaba-Ortega, Mario Bermúdez De León, Sandra Mendiola-Castillo, Laura González-Escalante, Ricardo Canales-Del-Castillo, Roberto Mercado-Hernández, Antonio Guzmán-Velasco, José Ignacio González-Rojas

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Wildlife near agricultural lands is exposed to pesticides, particularly organophosphorus and carbamates, where birds appear to be more sensitive to their toxic effects than other vertebrates. One of the main effects of pesticides is the disruption of the nervous system through the inhibition of cholinesterase enzymes. The aim of this study was to determine the plasma cholinesterase activity in native birds of pesticide-exposed agricultural lands within the Grassland Priority Conservation Area El Tokio, located in northeastern Mexico. The study was conducted during three summer seasons (2008-2010), when the reproduction of birds and pesticide spraying occurred. Forty-four birds of 13 different species were captured, sampled, and released. High variability values among individuals and species were found, ranging from 0.200 ± 0.055 to 4.960 ± 0.150 μmol/min/L. White-winged doves' values were significantly smaller than basal reference, showing 29-49% of plasma cholinesterase inhibition and possible pesticide exposure. Mean plasma cholinesterase activity values for 10 of the species had not been reported previously. These data can serve for future interpretations of plasma cholinesterase activity values in wild birds within agricultural lands and for decision making in priority conservation areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-588
Number of pages5
JournalRangeland Ecology and Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
☆ This study was supported by Pronatura Noreste, A. C. with Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act funds through the project “Ecological Reserves at Llano de La Soledad Ejidos” (MX-N481). The authors declare no conflict of interests. ⁎ Correspondence: Dr. José Ignacio González Rojas, Av. Universidad s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, 66455 San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico. Tel.: +52 81 8396 5812; fax: +52 81 8376 2813. E-mail address: jose.gonzalezr@uanl.mx (J.I. González-Rojas).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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