Environmental monitoring and assessment

Monitoring of organochlorine pesticides in and around Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.

PMID 21927784


Keoladeo National Park (KNP) is an important wintering ground for thousands of birds that undertake a perilous journey over the Himalaya to make a seasonal home in a wetland ecosystem. However, this wetland is now getting polluted by various types of contaminants such as pesticides because of the agricultural practices in the catchment area from where the park receives water. Keeping this in mind, the present study has been undertaken to assess the organochlorine pesticide (OCP) residues in the sediments inside and around KNP. Samples were collected from the different blocks of the park. The concentrations of α-HCH, β-HCH, γ-HCH, δ-HCH, S-HCH, aldrin, dieldrin, heptachlor, hept.epoxide, endosulfan-I, endosulfan-II, endo.sulfate, S-endosulfan, endrin, 4,4'-DDE, 4,4'-DDD, and DDT were quantified using gas chromatography with electron capture detection. Analysis showed that the samples were contaminated with the above mentioned pesticides and that the concentration of total OCPs in the sediments varied from 0.1173 (dieldrin) to 5.558 ppm (γ HCH) in the samples collected from inside the park, whereas a range of pesticides varying in concentration from 0.1245 (4,4'-DDD) to 7.54 ppm (γ HCH) was found in samples from outside the park. Residues of S-HCH and S-endosulfan were not detected in any of the sediment samples. The occurrence of pesticides inside the park is a major threat to the park's biodiversity. Eco-friendly agriculture practices with minimal use of inorganic chemicals are suggested to minimize the pesticide residue levels in the park.