Eggs of Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri) collected in 1991 from nesting colonies on Crescent Island (Columbia River) and the Potholes Reservoir in south central Washington generally contained low residues of organochlorine pesticides and metabolites, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzofuran, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Hepatic cytochrome P450 enzyme activity in pipped embryos of Forster's terns from the two colonies seemed unaffected by contaminants. At Crescent Island, examination of 23 Forster's tern eggs with large embryos (19 viable [10 pipped] and four dead [two pipped]) revealed developmental abnormalities in two viable pipped embryos (missing maxilla and deformed pelvic girdle) and a viable prepipping embryo (shortened beak). Our limited sample sizes and number of compounds analyzed preclude us from determining whether or not the abnormalities are related to contaminants. No abnormalities were noted in 10 pipped eggs (nine viable and one dead at collection) of Forster's terns collected from the Potholes Reservoir colony. Eggs of Caspian terns (Sterna caspia) collected from Crescent Island in 1991 also contained generally low residues of contaminants, only one developmental abnormality was noted, and limited data indicated that cytochrome P450 enzyme activity apparently was unaffected by contaminants. Organochlorine contaminants were generally low in addled eggs of American white pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos) collected from Crescent Island in 1994.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Contaminants in eggs of colonial waterbirds and hepatic cytochrome P450 enzyme levels in pipped tern embryos, Washington State|
|Series title||Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology|
|Contributing office(s)||Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center|