Seven complete clutches of Morelet's crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) eggs were collected in northern Belize and examined for organochlorine (OC) pesticide residues. The primary OC detected, p,p-DDE, was found in every egg analyzed (n = 175). Other OCs detected included p,p-DDT, p,p-DDD, methoxychlor, aldrin, and endosulfan I. Concentrations of individual OCs ranged from 4 ppb (ng chemical/g egg wet weight) to greater than 500 ppb. A statistical evaluation of p,p-DDE levels in three complete clutches was used to derive the minimum number of eggs needed from a clutch to precisely determine the mean p,p-DDE concentration representative of that clutch. Sample sizes of 8 (80% confidence level) and 11 (90% confidence level) were determined to yield an accurate estimate of contaminant levels in a full clutch of eggs. The statistically recommended sample size of 11 eggs (at 90% confidence level) was successfully tested on the four additional clutches.
- Complete clutches
- Organochlorine contaminants