Nesting of a bog-associated population of mlgfatory Peregrine Falcons, Falco peregrinus, along the Ponoy River depression, Kola Peninsula, Russia, has been studied since 1977. In 1987 91 production rates averaged 1.94 young per active nest and the number of breeding pairs increased from 4 to 10. In 1991, most eyrie sites were visited during the egg stage and a 'sample' egg was collected for contaminant analysis. Eight Peregrine Falcon eggs contained relatively low concentrations of p,p' -DOE (DOE) (geometric mean 3.5 g/g) and of other organochlorine pesticides. These DOE concentrations are similar to those reported in Peregrine Falcon eggs from an Alaskan population that had also showed a recent population increase. Eggshell thinning (11.4%) was similar to that found in Alaska. Concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were higher than DOE concentrations, comparable to the contamination profile shown by Peregrine Falcon populations in Fennoscandia, and were higher than those found in Alaskan birds. Before this study, no Peregrine Falcon eggs from Russia had 'been analyzed for PCB congeners, polychlorinated dibenzo- p-dioxins (PCDDs), or pol ychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCD Fs). Conversions of analytical concentrations of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), other PCDDs, PCDFs and PCB congeners based on relative aryl hydrocarbon hydroxylase induction potencies allowed the estimation of total 2,3,7,8- TCDD equivalents (TEQs). The TEQs are in the range that is associated with embryonic mortality in other species. Even though the Peregrine Falcon population now seems to be released from decades of a DOT problem, exposure to other contaminant continues. There is an obvious need to assess further the sources and longer-term trends of the PCBs. We also report residue concentrations from one White-tailed Eagle, Haliaeetus albicilla, egg.
Additional publication details
Organochlorine pesticides, chlorinated dioxins and furans, and PCBs in peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus eggs from the Kola peninsula, Russia
Columbia Environmental Research Center, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
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Raptor Conservation Today. Proceedings of the IV World Conference on Birds of Prey and Owls, Berlin, Germany, 10-17 May 1992