We evaluated chronic exposure of harlequin ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) to hydrocarbons associated with the 2004 M/V Selendang Ayu oil spill at Unalaska Island, Alaska. We measured levels of hepatic 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity (EROD) in liver biopsy samples as an indicator of hydrocarbon exposure in three oiled bays and one reference bay in 2005, 2006, and 2008. Median EROD activity in ducks from oiled bays was significantly higher than in the reference bay in seven of nine pairwise comparisons. These results indicated that harlequin ducks were exposed to lingering hydrocarbons more than three years after the spill.
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Chronic hydrocarbon exposure of harlequin ducks in areas affected by the Selendang Ayu oil spill at Unalaska Island, Alaska