In South Carolina between 1971 and 1975, authors evaluated the occurrence of organochlorine residues in the laughing gull (Larus atricilla), white ibis (Eudocimus albus), glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), and ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres). Tissues of birds found dead and eggs were analyzed, eggshell thicknesses were measured, and incidental observations were made of reproductive success and population status. Eggshell thickness of the white bis, American oystercatcher, and laughing gull were not significantly different (P less than 0.05) from the pre-1947 norms. DDE and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were found most frequently and at the highest concentration in eggs. DDE residues declined significantly in oystercatcher eggs, and declined slightly in laughing gull eggs; no change was noted in white ibis eggs. No consistent trends were found for dieldrin and PCBs. Authors found no obvious problems with reproductive success of any species. Populations of the five species breeding in South Carolina appear stable. The white ibis and laughing gull in South Carolina have experienced population explosions over the past 50 years; the glossy ibis has increased substantially since the first documented breeding records in 1947.
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Organochlorine residues in six species of estuarine birds, South Carolina, 1971-75