Tungsten-iron and tungsten-polymer shot were given conditional approval for waterfowl hunting by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service based partly on the results of a 30-day acute toxicity trial utilizing mallards (Anas platyrhynchos). Final approval of the two tungsten-containing shot was contingent on the results of a 150-day study that assessed the health and reproductive effects of tungsten-iron and tungsten-polymer shot in adult mallards. Reproductive data are presented in this paper. Sixteen male and 16 female adult mallards were dosed orally with eight #4 steel shot (control), eight #4 tungsten-iron shot, or eight #4 tungsten-polymer shot on days 0, 30, 60, 90, and 120 of a 150-day trial (26 January 1998 to 25 June 1998). Reproductive performance was assessed during the last 90 days (day 61 to day 150) of the trial. There were no significant differences in egg production and fertility and hatchability of eggs from tungsten-iron- and tungsten-polymer-dosed ducks compared to control ducks. There was no evidence of differences in percent survivability and body weight of ducklings from tungsten-iron and tungsten-polymer mallards compared to ducklings from control ducks. Tungsten-iron or tungsten-polymer shot repeatedly administered to adult mallards during the 150 day trial did not adversely affect reproduction or their offspring.
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Vol. 37 • No. 3