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Does mercury contamination reduce body condition of endangered California clapper rails?

Environmental Pollution

By:
, , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2011.12.004

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Abstract

We examined mercury exposure in 133 endangered California clapper rails (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) within tidal marsh habitats of San Francisco Bay, California from 2006 to 2010. Mean total mercury concentrations were 0.56 μg/g ww in blood (range: 0.15–1.43), 9.87 mg/g fw in head feathers (3.37–22.0), 9.04 μg/g fw in breast feathers (3.68–20.2), and 0.57 μg/g fww in abandoned eggs (0.15–2.70). We recaptured 21 clapper rails and most had low within-individual variation in mercury. Differences in mercury concentrations were largely attributed to tidal marsh site, with some evidence for year and quadratic date effects. Mercury concentrations in feathers were correlated with blood, and slopes differed between sexes (R2 = 0.58–0.76). Body condition was negatively related to mercury concentrations. Model averaged estimates indicated a potential decrease in body mass of 20e22 g (5–7%) over the observed range of mercury concentrations. Our results indicate the potential for detrimental effects of mercury contamination on endangered California clapper rails in tidal marsh habitats.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Does mercury contamination reduce body condition of endangered California clapper rails?
Series title:
Environmental Pollution
DOI:
10.1016/j.envpol.2011.12.004
Volume
162
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
Publisher location:
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Contributing office(s):
Western Ecological Research Center
Description:
10
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
439
Last page:
448
Number of Pages:
10
Country:
United States
State:
California
Other Geospatial:
San Francisco Bay