The Fifth Report of the Joint Committee of the British Trust for Ornithology and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds on Toxic Chemicals August 1963 - July 1964
1. The Fifth Report is compiled from records of birds, mammals, fish, invertebrates and pellets sent into the R.S.P.B. for chemical analysis between 1st August, 1963, and 31st July, 1964. These records have been collected by the Joint Committee of the British Trust for Ornithology and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds on Toxic Chemicals, who, as before, have concentrated on gathering information on deaths of birds by toxic chemicals from all over the country.
The Joint Committee has sent for chemical analysis a smaller proportion of the corpses received during the period under consideration than in previous years because the R.S.P.B.'s financial allocation for analyses had to be reduced in 1964 from £2,500 to £l,500. As a result, the total number of analyses was reduced from 389 in 1962-63 to 317 in 1963-64. From March, 1964, people who sent in bodies were told that the R.S.P.B. no longer required the bodies of certain common species unless the birds were seen to die in convulsions or in circumstances which suggested poisoning. Requests were made for information about the deaths of birds, particularly those at the end of food chains. During part of the period birds of prey and some water birds were sent to the Nature Conservancy for post mortem examination and analyses to help them with their studies of these two groups of birds. Results of these analyses are included in this report.
2. As in past years most of the analyses have been made by a firm of Public Analysts and Consulting Chemists, but certain selected species were examined by the Nature Conservancy, the Laboratory of the Government Chemist and the Shell Chemical Company, for whose help we are most grateful. As agreed in the past, copies of all analyses commissioned by the R.S.P.B. have been passed to the Infestation Control Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, at Tolworth, Surrey, in order to keep the Ministry informed of the position.