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Organochlorines, mercury, and selenium in wintering shorebirds from Washington and California

June 16, 2010

Dunlins Caldris alpina, and black-bellied plovers, Pluvialis squatarola, were collected in Washington and California during the winter of 1984-85; long-billed dowitchers, Limnodromus scolopaceus, were collected in California. Pooled breast muscles (by species, location, and date) were analyzed for organochlorines and pooled livers for mercury and selenium. DDE was detected in all eight dunlin, three of five dowitcher, and two of nine plover muscle pools. Estimated DDE concentrations in dunlin carcasses at two sites in California were greater than 3 ppm wet wt, a dietary concentration associated with eggshell thinning and decreased reproductive success in raptors. Detectable concentrations of mercury and selenium were found in all liver pools. Selenium concentrations in plovers from two sites in Washington were elevated (26.9 and 29.9 ppm dry wt), but below concentrations shown to affect reproductive success in black-necked stilts, Himantopus mexicanus. Elevated mercury concentrations in livers of dunlin from Bodega Bay (18.9 ppm dry wt) and Salinas River (16.3 ppm dry wt), California were below levels associated with acute toxicity.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1990
Title Organochlorines, mercury, and selenium in wintering shorebirds from Washington and California
DOI
Authors T. W. Custer, J.P. Meyers
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title California Fish and Game
Series Number
Index ID 5222710
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center