East versus West: organic contaminant differences in brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) eggs from South Carolina, USA and the Gulf of California, Mexico

Science of the Total Environment
By: , and 

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Abstract

Brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) were listed as endangered in the United States in 1970, largely due to reproductive failure and mortality caused by organochlorine contaminants, such as DDT. The southeast population, P.o. carolinensis, was delisted in 1985, while the west coast population, P.o. californicus, was not delisted until 2009. As fish-eating coastal seabirds, brown pelicans may serve as a biomonitors. Organic contaminants were examined in brown pelican eggs collected from the Gulf of California in 2004 and South Carolina in 2005 using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Contaminants were compared using all individual data as well as statistically pooled samples to provide similar sample sizes with little difference in results. Principal components analysis separated the Gulf of California brown pelican eggs from the South Carolina eggs based on contaminant patterns. The South Carolina population had significantly (P < 0.05) higher levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), chlordanes, dieldrin and mirex, while the Gulf of California eggs had higher levels of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes (DDTs) and hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs). With the exception of dieldrin and brominated diphenyl ether (BDE) 47, this pattern was observed for mussel and oyster tissues from these regions, indicating the need for further study into the differences between east and west coast brown pelican populations and ecosystem contamination patterns.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title East versus West: organic contaminant differences in brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) eggs from South Carolina, USA and the Gulf of California, Mexico
Series title Science of the Total Environment
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.08.055
Volume 438
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 6 p.
First page 527
Last page 532
Country Mexico, United States
State South Carolina
Other Geospatial Gulf of California
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N