The concentrations of 11 trace elements, 21 organochlorines, 13 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and 13 aliphatic hydrocarbons were determined in canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) wintering on San Francisco Bay, California during 1988. With the exception of Se, concentrations of potentially toxic elements were low. Similarly, concentrations of most organic compounds were near or below detection limits. Aliphatic hydrocarbons, PCBs, and DDE were common, but at levels lower than those known to be harmful to waterfowl. Innocuous trace elements (Cu, Fe, and Zn), which are often associated with anthropogenic contamination, occurred at high levels. Concentrations of toxic elements were several times lower and those of benign elements were similar or greater than concentrations reported for surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) or greater scaup (Aythya marila) from San Francisco Bay.
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Environmental contaminants in canvasbacks wintering on San Francisco Bay, California