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Trends in organochlorine and mercury residues in common loon (Gavia immer) eggs from New Hampshire

Transactions of the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference

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Abstract

Failed eggs collected from New Hampshire common loon (Gavia immer) nests in 1979 (N = 15) and 1981 (N = 21) were analyzed for organochlorines and mercury (Hg). In contrast to reports of previous samplings, DDT was not detected in any egg. PCB and DDE residues showed declining trends. Dieldrin was present at low levels in > 50% of the samples. Eggshell thickness was significantly correlated with DDE residues in the eggs of both sampling years; shell thickness is now (1981) comparable to that of museum specimens collected before 1946. Unlike organochlorine residues, Hg residues have shown no decrease in loon eggs. Percentage of loon eggs that contained > 0.5 ppm Hg increased between 1979 and 1981; 2 1981 eggs contained over 1.0 ppm Hg. Lead, zinc, cadmium, chromium and selenium also were analyzed in 1979, and residues were low and variable. Significance of these residue trends and other population factors for loons are discussed, and comparisons with residues of other loon populations in the United States and Canada are made.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Trends in organochlorine and mercury residues in common loon (Gavia immer) eggs from New Hampshire
Series title:
Transactions of the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference
Volume
40
Year Published:
1983
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
131-141
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Transactions of the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference
First page:
131
Last page:
141
Number of Pages:
11