skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Mercury concentrations in tissues of Florida bald eagles

Abstract

We collected 48 blood and 61 feather samples from nestling bald eagles at 42 nests and adult feather samples from 20 nests in north and central Florida during 1991-93. We obtained 32 liver, 10 feather, and 5 blood samples from 33 eagle carcasses recovered in Florida during 1987-93. For nestlings, mercury concentrations in blood (GM = 0.16 ppm wet wt) and feather (GM = 3.23 ppm) samples were correlated (r = 0.69, P = 0.0001). Although nestlings had lower mercury concentrations in feathers than did adults (GM = 6.03 ppm), the feather mercury levels in nestlings and adults from the same nest were correlated (r = 0.63, P < 0.02). Mercury concentrations in blood of captive adult eagles (GM = 0.23 ppm) was similar to Florida nestlings but some Florida nestlings had blood mercury concentrations up to 0.61 ppm, more than twice as high as captive adults. Feather mercury concentrations in both nestlings and adults exceeded those in captive eagles, but concentrations in all tissues were similar to, or lower than, those in bald eagles from other wild populations. Although mercury concentrations in Florida eagles are below those that cause mortality, they are in the range of concentrations that canmore » cause behavioral changes or reduce reproduction. We recommend periodic monitoring of mercury in Florida bald eagles for early detection of mercury increases before negative effects on reproduction occur. 26 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. Wes Virginia Univ., Morgantown, WV (United States)
  2. Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Eustis, FL (United States) [and others
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
273030
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Wildlife Management
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 60; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: PBD: Jan 1996
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 56 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES; MERCURY; BIOLOGICAL ACCUMULATION; BIRDS; REPRODUCTION; FLORIDA

Citation Formats

Wood, P.B., Wood, J.M., and White, J.H. Mercury concentrations in tissues of Florida bald eagles. United States: N. p., 1996. Web. doi:10.2307/3802053.
Wood, P.B., Wood, J.M., & White, J.H. Mercury concentrations in tissues of Florida bald eagles. United States. doi:10.2307/3802053.
Wood, P.B., Wood, J.M., and White, J.H. Mon . "Mercury concentrations in tissues of Florida bald eagles". United States. doi:10.2307/3802053.
@article{osti_273030,
title = {Mercury concentrations in tissues of Florida bald eagles},
author = {Wood, P.B. and Wood, J.M. and White, J.H.},
abstractNote = {We collected 48 blood and 61 feather samples from nestling bald eagles at 42 nests and adult feather samples from 20 nests in north and central Florida during 1991-93. We obtained 32 liver, 10 feather, and 5 blood samples from 33 eagle carcasses recovered in Florida during 1987-93. For nestlings, mercury concentrations in blood (GM = 0.16 ppm wet wt) and feather (GM = 3.23 ppm) samples were correlated (r = 0.69, P = 0.0001). Although nestlings had lower mercury concentrations in feathers than did adults (GM = 6.03 ppm), the feather mercury levels in nestlings and adults from the same nest were correlated (r = 0.63, P < 0.02). Mercury concentrations in blood of captive adult eagles (GM = 0.23 ppm) was similar to Florida nestlings but some Florida nestlings had blood mercury concentrations up to 0.61 ppm, more than twice as high as captive adults. Feather mercury concentrations in both nestlings and adults exceeded those in captive eagles, but concentrations in all tissues were similar to, or lower than, those in bald eagles from other wild populations. Although mercury concentrations in Florida eagles are below those that cause mortality, they are in the range of concentrations that can cause behavioral changes or reduce reproduction. We recommend periodic monitoring of mercury in Florida bald eagles for early detection of mercury increases before negative effects on reproduction occur. 26 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.},
doi = {10.2307/3802053},
journal = {Journal of Wildlife Management},
number = 1,
volume = 60,
place = {United States},
year = {1996},
month = {1}
}