Approximately 200 Canada geese (Branta canadensis) died at a playa lake in the Texas Panhandle shortly after a winter wheat field in the basin adjacent to the lake was treated with parathion to control newly invading Russian wheat aphids (Diuraphis noxia). No evidence of infectious disease was diagnosed during necropsies of geese. Brain ChE activities were depressed up to 77% below normal. Parathion residues in GI tract contents of geese ranged from 4 to 34 ppm. Based on this evidence, parathion was responsible for the goose mortalities. Parathion applications to winter wheat will undoubtedly increase if parathion is applied for control of both Russian wheat aphids and greenbugs (Schizaphis graminum). Geese may potentially be exposed to widespread applications of parathion from fall to spring, essentially their entire wintering period.
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Vol. 27 • No. 2