Behavioral changes in Japanese quails exposed to predicted environmentally relevant abamectin concentrations.Sci Total Environ. 2018 Sep 15; 636:1553-1564.ST
Abamectin (ABA) toxicity in fish, amphibian and mammals was already proven, but its effect on birds is almost unknown. Thus, the aim of our study is to assess the impact of exposure to water with ABA for 40 days at predicted environmentally relevant concentrations on the behavior of female Japanese quails (Coturnix coturnix japonica). The three following experimental groups (n = 10 each) were set: "control", quails exposed to drinking water, without ABA, "EC1x" and "EC1000x" (0.31 mg a.i./L and 310.0 a.i./L, respectively; via commercial formulation Kraft® 36EC). The open field test showed anxiolytic response in birds exposed to ABA. These birds did not show locomotor changes or aggressive behavior in the aggressiveness test. Quails exposed to the pesticide did not react to the introduction of an object in the experimental box during the object recognition test, and it suggested perception deficit due to ABA. Moreover, these birds did not recognize the cat (Felix catus) and the vocalization of a hawk (Rupornis magnirostris) as potential predatory threats. These responses also suggest anti-predatory behavior deficit due to the pesticide. Thus, our study is pioneer in showing that water with ABA, at tested concentrations, influences the behavior of C. coturnix japonica, as well as in highlighting the potential impacts of this pesticide on this group of birds.