Mercury levels in Great Lakes herring gull eggs, 1972--1992
Since 1971, the herring gull (Larus argentatus) has been used as a sentinel species for monitoring the levels of persistent contaminants in the Great Lakes ecosystem. In this study, 21 herring gull colonies in the Great Lakes and connecting channels were sampled for years 1972--1976, 1981--1983, 1985 and 1992. For each year, 10 eggs (usually) were collected from each colony site and analyzed for total mercury (ppm, wet weight). Results indicated that eggs from Lake Ontario displayed the highest mercury levels, mean = 0.28 (s.d. = 0.08) to 0.73 (0.23). Lake Erie typically displayed the lowest egg mercury levels, 0.18 (0.08) to 0.24 (0.11). Overall, mercury levels ranged from 0.12 (0.02) in 1985 to 0.88 (0.23) in 1982 for Channel-Shelter Island (Lake Huron) and Pigeon Island (Lake Ontario), respectively. Generally, all colony sites showed peak mercury levels in 1982. A significant decline in egg mercury levels was observed in six colony sites between 1972 and 1992 and in three colony sites between 1981 and 1992. The mean herring gull egg mercury levels observed in the early and mid 1970s and in 1982 for some colony sites were within the range found which potentially reduces hatchability in other fish-eating bird species.
- Canadian Wildlife Service, Burlington, Ontario (Canada). Canada Centre for Inland Waters
- Publication Date:
- OSTI Identifier:
- Report Number(s):
ISBN 1-880611-03-1; TRN: IM9619%%196
- Resource Type:
- Resource Relation:
- Conference: 2. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) world conference, Vancouver (Canada), 5-9 Nov 1995; Other Information: PBD: 1995; Related Information: Is Part Of Second SETAC world congress (16. annual meeting): Abstract book. Global environmental protection: Science, politics, and common sense; PB: 378 p.
- Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Pensacola, FL (United States)
- Country of Publication:
- United States
- 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 56 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES; GREAT LAKES; WATER POLLUTION; BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS; BIRDS; BIOLOGICAL STRESS; MERCURY; BIOLOGICAL ACCUMULATION; AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS; GEOGRAPHICAL VARIATIONS