MALATHION SPRAYING KILLS 3 DUCKS
AT SEMINOLE LAKE IN TAMPA, FL
Three ducks died over a 3 day period following the aerial spraying of malathion at Seminole Lake in July 1997. Seminole Lake is located just east of Nebraska Avenue in Seminole. On day 1 following the spraying, one of the ducks showed the first signs of illness spending the majority of its time at the edge of the pond. By day 2, the poisoning effects of the malathion were quite obvious as the duck was unable to move into the pond spending all of its time on the waters edge. Even when approached by humans at this point, the duck did not have enough strength to move away. On day 3 when I returned to the lake, the duck had died, at which point I took this photograph.
Seminole Lake provides a good example of how certain geographical locations can be far more vulnerable to the poisoning effects of malathion. .Seminole Lake is a very low lying lake surrounded by an unusually wide and high embankment and drainage area. The day following the aerial malathion spraying over the Seminole Lake neighborhood, there was a strong rain. This rain, occurring within 24 hours after the malathion, washed the "still toxic" malathion down the local roads and embankments and into the pond. The poisoning of the ducks would then occur because of the very high malathion concentrations in the water. The ducks would make contact with the malathion by drinking the lake water, walking on the surrounding embankment, grooming of their feathers and consumption of contaminated aquatic life in the lake. As the death of these animals took approximately 3 days, it must have certainly been an agonizing way to die.