Date of this Version
Terrestrial hazard assessments were conducted for the spring blackbird baiting program to protect sunflower crops. Risk Assessment methodology proposed by the Ecological Committee on FIFRA Risk Assessment Methods (ECOFRAM) and the method currently used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (LD50s/ft2) were compared for their predictive strengths and for the ease of adapting the assessment to site specific conditions. While the ECOFRAM and LD50s/ft2 methods identified the same groups of organisms as being at risk, the flexibility of the ECOFRAM methodology allowed more latitude in adapting the assessment to unique behaviors of individual species. These risk assessment approaches indicate that blackbird baiting with DRC-1339 presents acute hazards to select nontarget birds like western meadowlarks and mourning doves but few hazards to most mammals or small granivorous birds like sparrows and finches. However, field experiments indicate that the mitigation measures currently employed in the baiting program, minimize the nontarget hazards.