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Contaminants in molting long-tailed ducks and nesting common eiders in the Beaufort Sea

January 1, 2004

In 2000, we collected blood from long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis) and blood and eggs from common eiders (Somateria mollissima) at near-shore islands in the vicinity of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and at a reference area east of Prudhoe Bay. Blood was analyzed for trace elements and egg contents were analyzed for trace elements, organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Except for Se (mean=36.1 ??g/g dry weight (dw) in common eiders and 48.8 ??g/g dw in long-tailed ducks), concentrations of trace elements in blood were low and, although several trace elements differed between areas, they were not consistently higher at one location. In long-tailed ducks, Se in blood was positively correlated with activities of two serum enzymes, suggestive of an adverse effect of increasing Se levels on the liver. Although common eiders had high Se concentrations in their blood, Se residues in eggs were low (mean=2.28 ??g/g dw). Strontium and Ni were higher in eggs near Prudhoe Bay than at the reference area, but none of the other trace elements or organic contaminants in eggs differed between locations. Concentrations of Ca, Sr, Mg, and Ni differed among eggs having no visible development, early-stage embryos, or late-stage embryos. Residues of 4,4???-DDE, cis-nonachlor, dieldrin, hexachlorobenzene, oxychlordane, and trans-nonachlor were found in 100% of the common eider eggs, but at low concentrations (means of 2.35-7.45 ??g/kg wet weight (ww)). The mean total PCB concentration in eggs was 15.12 ??g/kg ww. Of PAHs tested for, residues of 1- and 2-methylnaphthalene and naphthalene were found in 100% of the eggs, at mean concentrations of 0.36-0.89 ??g/kg ww.

Publication Year 2004
Title Contaminants in molting long-tailed ducks and nesting common eiders in the Beaufort Sea
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2003.08.027
Authors J. C. Franson, Tuula E. Hollmén, Paul L. Flint, J.B. Grand, Richard B. Lanctot
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Pollution Bulletin
Index ID 70027459
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wildlife Health Center