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Concentrations of selenium, mercury, and lead in blood of emperor geese in western Alaska

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

By:
, , , and
https://doi.org/10.1002/etc.5620180522

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Abstract

We found up to 10 ppm wet weight of selenium in blood samples collected from emperor geese (Chen canagica) on their breeding grounds on the Yukon‐Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska, USA. Incubating adult females captured in late May through mid‐June 1997 had significantly higher concentrations of selenium in their blood (mean = 5.60 ppm) than adult females captured during wing molt in late July 1996 (mean = 2.78 ppm). Females that nested early or were in good body condition had higher concentrations of selenium in their blood than did other nesting females. Blood samples from 4 of 29 goslings had detectable levels of selenium (mean = 0.14 ppm). Our findings suggest that emperor geese are exposed to more selenium in the marine environment of their wintering and staging areas on the Alaska Peninsula than on the breeding grounds. The highest concentration of mercury found in the blood of emperor geese was 0.24 ppm. One bird had a blood lead concentration of 0.67 ppm, but 82% had no detectable lead in their blood, suggesting that lead exposure from the ingestion of lead shot poses little threat for emperor geese in western Alaska, contrary to findings reported for sympatric spectacled eiders (Somateria fischeri).

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Concentrations of selenium, mercury, and lead in blood of emperor geese in western Alaska
Series title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
DOI:
10.1002/etc.5620180522
Volume:
18
Issue:
5
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Contributing office(s):
National Wildlife Health Center
Description:
5 p.
First page:
965
Last page:
969
Country:
United States
State:
Alaska
Other Geospatial:
Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N