Organochlorine and mercury concentrations were determined in Osprey eggs collected from Maryland, Virginia, and Massachusetts during 1986-87. DDE concentrations were significantly different among locations. Median DDE concentrations did not decline significantly in eggs from Glenn L. Martin National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland, between 1973 and 1986. The median DDE residue for eggs from Martin Refuge in 1986 surpassed the value associated with 10% eggshell thinning, but was below the value associated with production of 1.0 young per active nest, a level assumed to represent a stable population. DDD, DDT, dieldrin, PCB, and mercury residues in all eggs appeared insignificant with regard to potential effects on shell thickness or reproduction. DDE and PCB residues were lower in eggs collected in 1986-87 than in those collected in the 1970s for each area. DDD, DDT, and dieldrin were not detected in Martin Refuge eggs in 1986, representing a significant reduction since 1973. DDD, DDT, and dieldrin levels in Massachusetts and Virginia eggs in 1986-87 were similar to those in eggs from the 1970s for each state. Mercury residues in eggs from Martin Refuge may be increasing and although not significant in this study, may warrant future monitoring.
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Organochlorines and mercury in osprey eggs from the eastern United States